The Digital Transformation Agency will target its early exploration of blockchain technology at potential applications around Centrelink payments.
Acting CEO Randall Brugeaud told the CeBIT conference in Sydney today that the work would take place as part of its investigation into the “potential of blockchain to securely record transactions”.
“Our plan is to look for use cases across the Government, with an initial focus on the welfare payments system,” he said.
“Then, working with our digital services standard, we’ll conduct user research with a view to having a prototype by the end of next financial year.”
The agency was handed $700,000 in this year’s federal budget to find uses for blockchain technology.
Randall said the agency would look to existing applications of the technology in both the public and private sectors.
This includes Data61 research into the potential uses of blockchain technology.
Data61's work found that government could benefit from blockchain as a common reference point that will bring together local, state and federal administrations to host registries of open data.
However Data61 ultimately concluded that more work would been needed to address risks before widespread adoption of the technology could take place.
The DTA will also look to the replacement of the Australian Securities Exchange’s core CHESS post-trade cash equities system with blockchain technology.
The ASX has spent the past two years building an “industrial strength” blockchain-based solution to identity whether the technology can work at the scale of the local equity market.