It appears the digital transformation agency (DTA) don’t see much of a transformative use of blockchain, stating that the emerging tech is all “hype”.
Earlier this year the DTA a branch of the Australian government was given a budget of $700,000 (AUD) to explore blockchain technology application within government services, however according to Australian media, the agency remains unimpressed by their findings.
Following the initial research into the nascent tech, including trials with various government departments - including human services and home affairs - the DTA reportedly found that blockchain was less effective than existing technologies.
DTA chief digital officer Peter Alexander spoke of the findings at a Senate hearing:
“Our position today, and this is an early write-up, is that blockchain is an interesting technology that would be well worth being observed, but without standardisation and a lot more work, for every use of blockchain that you would consider today there is a better technology,” Alexander said, adding “It’s an interesting technology but it’s early on in the development. It’s at the top of a hype cycle. A lot of the engagement [with the agencies] is comparing blockchain against existing technologies,”.
Alexander went on to clarify that blockchain has potential but, that it requires standardization before it has the opportunity to grow.
It seems rather strange that over half a million dollars and months of research amount to nothing more than a statement on how blockchain needs further development.
Furthermore, it appears that the majority of that funding actually went to staff members working on the project rather than any true exploratory expense:
“We actually costed that with the application of the team staff, and we’re absorbing that funding. We were doing some work on it, we have a team that will do that and we costed the staff effort,” Alexander said.
Regardless of Alexanders stance, Blockchain innovation with Australia continues to strive. Innovation such as the implementation of the pay-bills-with-crypto platform as well as blockchain for digital driver’s license by the local government. Furthermore, the NEM foundation recently set up their blockchain hub in Melbourne, Australia, in a bid to educate the public further on blockchain technology.
Read more: NEM Foundation sets up blockchain hub in Melbourne; Australia implements blockchain for paperless insurance payment; Australian government implements blockchain for digital driver's license