Australia Builds Smart Contract-Powered Legal Platform for Businesses Nationwide

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The Australian National Blockchain (ANB) is a platform designed to help Australian companies exchange data and confirm the authenticity and status of legal contracts through a blockchain-based smart legal contract platform.

According to the press release, the platform will be built by a consortium that consists of CSIRO’s Data61, law firm Herbert Smith Freehills, and IBM. The goal is to build out Australia’s first cross-industry, large scale, the blockchain-based digital platform which will be available to all different types of businesses across Australia.

The Australian National Blockchain Platform

The ANB Platform will help Australian businesses and organizations digitally manage the lifecycle of their contracts. The idea is to assist these companies through the negotiation and signing process, as well as the continuation of the contract over the term of the agreement with greater openness, clarity, and transparency.

Furthermore, the ANB platform will also allow organizations to use blockchain-based smart contracts to trigger certain events or processes.

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The Smart Legal contracts can also contain smart clauses which can connect to the Internet of Things (IoT) device data. If the correction conditions are being met, these clauses can then self-execute certain specifications that were agreed upon in the contract. A great example is the use of construction site sensors. These sensors can record the time and date of delivery of a certain load on the blockchain network.

Once the information is recorded, it can then trigger a smart contract between the construction company and bank. The bank would then receive a notification that certain agreements and terms have been met and can launch an automatic payment when the load is registered into the system.

Big Data Melting Pot

Eventually, the smart contracts can also be used in conjunction with other technologies like artificial intelligence and advanced analytics to ensure that Australian companies are undergoing regulatory compliance. It can also provide companies with new and interesting insights about their business.

“Technologies like blockchain are set to transform the legal industry and the wider business landscape as we know it,” said Natasha Blycha, a Blockchain and Smart Legal Contract Lead from Herbert Smith Freehills. “This presents a huge opportunity for agile and forward-thinking firms and has the potential to deliver significant benefits to our clients and the business community as a whole.”

The Consortium will initially test the ANB platform as a pilot project and will use IBM’s blockchain. As the project progressives, regulators, law firms, banks, and Australian businesses will be invited to test the pilot which should begin before the end of 2018.