On Monday, the Australian government announced that it awarded more than A$5.6 million ($4.2m) to two blockchain-based pilot projects.
The grants are part of an initiative to investigate how blockchain technology can help ease regulatory burdens and support supply chain solutions. Provenance blockchain startup Everledger receives A$3 million ($2.25m) for mineral traceability and blockchain consultancy Convergence.tech gets A$2.66 million ($1.99m) for automating reporting of alcohol tax duties.
Everledger will create a digital certificate for critical minerals using blockchain technology to record the extraction and movements of the minerals. The hope is this will lower the cost of complying with regulations. Convergence. tech’s project looks to reduce costs by automating excise tax reporting in the Australian beer and spirits sector. It will use blockchain technology to help automate key reporting processes during the creation, storage, and transportation of alcohol.
In the announcement, Australian Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Chrisitan Porter said, “These two successful projects will also highlight opportunities to improve the technical and regulatory environment for blockchain in Australia, bolster blockchain literacy and support collaboration between Australian governments, the private sector and blockchain companies.”
Everledger is a London-based blockchain company founded by Australian Leanne Kemp. Having started focused on diamond traceability, the company expanded more generally to supply chain traceability. It recently moved into other minerals, putting them in competition with companies such as Circulor.
Convergence.tech is a Canadian consultancy that has launched several other blockchain projects. This includes a blockchain solution for Mongolian cashmere traceability in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The grants are funded under the Morrison Government’s A$800 million ($569m) Digital Business package, in alignment with the National Blockchain Roadmap released in February 2020. As part of the roadmap, the Australian government will likely continue to work closely with blockchain providers to engage in business research and innovation.