Blockchain Platform For Smart Legal Contracts Planned By Australia’s Data61

Announcements, Blockchain, Innovation, News | August 29, 2018 By:

CSIRO’s Data61, Australia’s digital innovation network, is building the country’s first cross-industry blockchain platform for smart legal contracts.

In its announcement, Data61 said it has teamed with law firm Herbert Smith Freehills and tech giant IBM to build the Australian National Blockchain (ANB), which will enable organizations to digitally manage the lifecycle of a contract, from negotiation through to signing, and continuing over the term of the agreement.

Using the IBM Blockchain, ANB’s smart legal contracts (SLC) will be able to have clauses that can be triggered via external data sources, such as Internet of Things (IoT) sensors. The service will provide organizations of all sizes the ability to use SLCs to trigger business processes and events.

“Technologies like blockchain are set to transform the legal industry and the wider business landscape as we know it,” said Natasha Blycha, Blockchain and Smart Legal Contract lead from Herbert Smith Freehills. “This presents a huge opportunity for agile and forward-thinking firms, and has potential to deliver significant benefits to our clients and the business community as a whole. Our clients are enthusiastic about process automation, and how it can support a move away from paper-based systems, simplify supply chains, and quickly and securely share information with customers and regulators.”

The pilot is expected to begin before the end of 2018. If the Australian trial proves successful, the companies intends to roll out the technology to other markets beyond Australia.

“Blockchain will be to transactions what the internet was to communication — what starts as a tool for sharing information becomes transformational once adoption is widespread,” said Paul Hutchison, IBM Global Business Services vice president and partner for Cognitive Process Transformation. “The ANB could be that inflection point for commercial blockchain, spurring innovation and economic development throughout Australia.”