The Australian Government via the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources recently released the National Blockchain Roadmap (The Roadmap). In launching the Roadmap, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, The Hon. Karen Andrews MP noted the opportunities for the application of blockchain technology across a range of sectors and scenarios. However, it is also noted that while these opportunities exist, blockchain is not a panacea for all challenges faced. As the US Department of Homeland Security notes:
Blockchain is best suited for use cases requiring at least three of the following: data redundancy; information transparency; data immutability; and a consensus mechanism. If only one or two are required then blockchain may work, but there are likely simpler or cheaper ways to solve the problem.
The Roadmap highlights a number of case studies across the agriculture, education and finance sectors, as well as TypeHuman’s work with the Australian Red Cross in developing a digital identity and credential solution for the Australian humanitarian sector. In addition, The Roadmap presents eleven “signposts” to describe focus points to be pursued over the coming five years. These could be summarised into four broad themes of:
- Formalising a vehicle to advance the national blockchain agenda 
- Supporting the practical uptake of blockchain technology in Australia 
- Ensuring Australia possesses necessary blockchain capabilities, skills and access to capital 
- Surfacing opportunities where blockchain can support international relationships and trade where bilateral agreements exist 
In support of The Roadmap, The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources recently commenced a search for an individual lead the reports next steps. The appointment of this individual will be an important milestone, providing ongoing support to the Australian ecosystem as The Roadmap signposts are pursued.
The Australian Government should be congratulated for their efforts to increase understanding, and to help individuals and organisations consider the potential application of blockchain. As the document concludes, “…progress will rely on government, industry and the research sector sharing a vision and a focus for the development of blockchain for the whole economy”. In addition, progress will also rely on a preparedness to act and learn from early endeavours. TypeHuman was pleased to contribute to The Roadmap and we look forward to working collaboratively with a range of partners to explore more opportunities for blockchain’s uptake.
Read the full National Blockchain Roadmap here.
-  Reflected in signposts 1, 2, and 4
-  Reflected in signposts 3, 5, 6, and 12
-  Reflected in signposts 7, 8, 9, and 10
-  Reflected in signpost 11