Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Blockchain 2030: A Look at the Future of Blockchain in Australia

Bratanova, Alexandra and Devaraj, D and Horton, Joanna and Naughtin, Claire and Kloester, Ben and Trinh, Kelly and Weber, Ingo and Dawson, David (2019): Blockchain 2030: A Look at the Future of Blockchain in Australia.

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Blockchain technology is a distributed ledger technology whereby a database is distributed across numerous users, and changes to the database are validated by consensus among the users. While it is best known as the platform for Bitcoin, blockchain technology can be widely applied to improve business processes, increase transparency, and drive the creation of new jobs and industries. Over the last decade, blockchain technology has grown in popularity and use, and has already begun to disrupt existing markets in Australia and around the world. The opportunities blockchain presents have been invested in, studied, explored, and considered, in almost all sectors of the economy. Blockchain has attracted significant public and private investment, and introduced previously non-existent products and services across multiple industries. Despite its potential, there is significant uncertainty regarding future adoption of blockchain technology in Australia. For instance, there are unknowns around blockchain’s capacity to work at scale while remaining decentralised, and protect confidentiality whilst also being transparent. The extent to which the public will trust decentralised systems is also uncertain. These uncertainties raise the question: can blockchain progress beyond the hype to deliver tangible, high-value applications and a thriving industry for Australia, or will blockchain amount to little more than a market bubble? This report investigates plausible futures for the adoption of blockchain technology in Australia out to 2030, with a particular focus on Australia’s emerging blockchain industry and workforce. Using strategic foresight methodologies, it aims to identify critical risks, challenges and opportunities for Australia’s blockchain industry and assist stakeholders in developing informed strategic responses to these potential futures. Two specific techniques under the umbrella of strategic foresight are employed in this report—horizon scanning and scenario planning. These techniques are used in combination to craft and communicate a narrative about the future of blockchain adoption in Australia. This report provides multiple views of the future of blockchain adoption in Australia and the impact this could have on existing and emerging industries and businesses. By understanding the potential risks that the future could hold—as well as the opportunities that blockchain technology could provide for the Australian economy—government and industry can make more informed decisions that best position the nation for decades to come.

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