Australia’s Science Agency & Commonwealth Bank Pilot Blockchain ‘Smart Money’

A pilot conducted by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and the Data61 unit of Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) has confirmed that the blockchain-powered smart money holds huge social and economic benefits for Australia’s insurance scheme for persons living with disabilities.

In the proof of concept, it was confirmed that participants in Australia’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) gained from increased choice and control using the smart money that they obtained through a prototype app. Administrative costs were not only reduced but also the risk of accidental misspending or fraud was also lessen.

For the carers and participants who participated in the pilot, the NDIS prototype app saved them between one hour and 15 hours per week. For now, service providers estimate that on an annual basis, they could save between 0.3% and 0.8% of their revenue.

According to the CBA, even by conservative estimate, this would amount to hundreds of millions of dollars annually in economic benefits if the proof of concept were to be used as a full-scale solution across Australia all over the entire ecosystem of the NDIS.

According to the senior principal researcher at Data61, Dr. Mark Staples, the trial confirmed that the blockchain-powered smart money system can be applied in other public programs since the NDIS prototype app is already integrated with the New Payments Platform, an industry-wide payments infrastructure platform from Australia introduced five years ago.

“Our use of blockchain added new kinds of programmable behaviors to the smart money in the prototype system. This automation and flexibility could reduce friction and enable greater innovation in many payment environments and unlock network-effect benefits,” said Staples.

“This could include more directly connecting citizens to public policy programs, empowering people to optimize their spending through things like smart savings plans and smart diets, and reducing costs for businesses, including through the potential for self-taxing transactions.”


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