An Australian federal science agency has completed a global test on a blockchain network it developed with the University of Sydney, which, the two said, indicated the system can process 30,000 cross-border transactions per second.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) released the test results in an announcement on Wednesday, which was deployed using the Amazon Web Services (AWS) global cloud infrastructure.

Called Red Belly Blockchain and created by CSIRO’s technology arm Data61 and the Concurrent Systems Research Group (CSRG) from the University of Sydney, the network was tested across 1,000 nodes in 14 countries in the Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe.

CSIRO claimed “the benchmark was set by sending 30,000 transactions per second from different geographic regions” with an average latency of three seconds, adding it was the agency’s first blockchain test in a global setting.

The goal of the network is to solve the common issue of scalability among major blockchains currently by using an alternative consensus algorithm instead of the proof-of-work mechanism adopted by public networks such as bitcoin.

According to a paper published by the CSIRO and the University of Sydney, the group has turned to a different algorithm called deterministic byzantine consensus. The idea, based on the paper’s description, is to allow the network to complete transactions after receiving a threshold of messages instead of having to wait for confirmations from nodes that are slow.

“Real-world applications of blockchain have been struggling to get off the ground due to issues with energy consumption and complexities induced by the proof of work,” said Dr. Vincent Gramoli, a senior researcher at Data61 and head of the CSRG, in the announcement, adding:

“The deployment of Red Belly Blockchain on AWS shows the unique scalability and strength of the next generation ledger technology in a global context.”

The test comes at a time when the science agency is also working with IBM to create what’s been called the Australia National Blockchain.

As CoinDesk previously reported, CSIRO aims to use this blockchain network to facilitate large-scale business and financial transactions for domestic and international enterprises based on blockchain-powered smart contracts.

*This post is credited to Coindesk

Australian firm Vicinity has announced it will trial a blockchain solution for its energy network. The company revealed this Thursday, September 25 in an official press release.

Vicinity – with more than $42 billion in real estate assets under management – has partnered with Australian energy tech company Power Ledger. The newly announced trial is a part of Vicinity’s $75 million solar energy program that is about to start in Castle Plaza – the company’s mall located in Adelaide, South Australia.

The new blockchain platform delivered by Power Ledger will reportedly allow Vicinity to manage energy distribution in real time, deciding whether to keep using solar panels or switch to the national power grid. Vicinity hopes the experiment, if successful, will enable its shopping malls to share energy with nearby communities that are connected to its power network.

Executive general manager of Vicinity Justin Mills has claimed that blockchain solutions might help reduce energy costs and conserve the environment:

“We see our partnership with Power Ledger as a significant opportunity to unlock a future of more competitive energy prices for our retailers and customers while potentially sharing clean, renewable energy to the communities surrounding our centres.”

Power Ledger is an Australian renewable energy company that uses blockchain solutions for peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading. According to the latest press release, the company is also engaged in P2P energy trading pilots in Japan, U.S. and Thailand.

Back in February, Cointelegraph reported that blockchain is widely used in the energy industry, with notable use cases including energy consumption monitoring systems and cryptocurrency rewards for those who use renewable energy sources, like solar power.

*This post is credited to CoinTelegraph

Singapore-based virtual currency marketplace KuCoin has made an investment in Bitcoin Australia – a move that is targeted to enhance the global expansion of both parties, the company’s CEO Michael Gan said in a LinkedIn statement. The financing amounts to nearly $3 million, the Australian exchange’s chief executive Rupert Hackett disclosed in an interview for local news outlet The Australian Financial Review on Sunday.

The money will add to previously raised capital from Dominet Venture Partners and will be used to fund Bitcoin Australia’s “aggressive international expansion” which sees the UK as its next primary target, Hackett explained. The marketplace will afterwards seek to enter other European markets, as well as Canada.

According to Hackett, Bitcoin Australia, holding an official license, is ripe for an international expansion, as it complies with the local regulations, which incriminate unauthorized crypto exchanges.

As for the recent partnership with KuCoin, Hackett told the online publication the two companies “had clear synergies”.

“[KuCoin] will effectively create an exchange for intermediate and advanced traders, while we’re a mass market approach, making us quite synergistic. We’ll build the consumer-friendly retail experience for people entering the market, while supporting KuCoin for advanced traders,” Hackett said.

At present, KuCoin offers trading with hundreds of cryptocurrencies, while Bitcoin Australia allows its users to buy and sell BTC and buy ETH against Australian dollars.

Despite a cryptocurrency market that has been shedding value in the recent months, demand from local investors is not seen to subside in the long term, Hackett maintained:

“When you compare the global trade in cryptocurrency compared to all-time high trading volumes it has depressed 5-10 per cent, but it’s still up 60-70 per cent on 12 months ago

*This post is credited to Cryptovest

Australian markets operator ASX Ltd said on Tuesday it has delayed its switchover to blockchain technology by six months to devote more time for user development and testing.

Last year, ASX said it would replace its registry, settlement and clearing system with blockchain technology to cut costs for customers.

The decision to replace the Clearing House Electronic Subregister System (CHESS) on Australia’s main bourse follows two years of testing of distributed ledger technology, also known as blockchain.

The move will make the Australian Securities Exchange one of the biggest mainstream financial markets to use the relatively new ledger system, best known as the technology underpinning the bitcoin cryptocurrency.

Blockchain is a shared, verifiable and permanent record of data that is maintained by a network of computers.

The markets operator said it will push the launch date from the fourth quarter of 2020 to around March-April 2021.

ASX decided to defer industry-wide testing by six months and also extended mandatory accreditation by the same time limit.

In January 2016, ASX bought a minority stake in a U.S. blockchain developer Digital Asset Holdings, positioning itself to become the first stock exchange in the world to use distributed ledger technology for public companies.

*This post is credited to UK Reuters.

Blockchain pioneer Lakeba Group has partnered with an auction-style loan and deposit marketplace to develop a platform designed to enhance competition among lenders.

Through the partnership dubbed BLOCKLOAN, Lodex will be able to connect borrowers directly with lenders, allowing users to leverage their crypto assets.

“Blockchain and crypto are triggering a societal and economic shift and this will only increase,” said BLOCKLOAN co-founder and co-CEO Michael Phillipou.

“Financial institutions are failing to address the market need and we believe it’s time for a new solution. Consumers of traditional institutions need more choice in lending interest rates and with two billion people having no access to credit, something has to change. BLOCKLOAN’s mission is to solve a fundamental credit access problem, globally,” he added.

Lakeba is known as one of the first software companies in Australia to have live commercial blockchain solutions across multiple sectors. The Lakeba Future Hub, which has secured the contract with BLOCKLOAN, is a consortium formed and led by Lakeba, including technology, law, taxation and educational firms, with a focus on accelerating blockchain adoption and development by Australian businesses.

Darren Younger, Lakeba chief growth officer and head of the Future Hub, said the banking and finance industry is the most obvious sector to take advantage of Lakeba’s focus on accelerating blockchain development across all industries.

“Our partnership with Lodex in developing the BLOCKLOAN platform, will facilitate a decentralised, transparent, low-cost way of lending and borrowing through cash and crypto,” he added.

*This post is credited to brokernews.com.au

Cointree and Gobbill have announced a partnership that allows Australians to pay their bills using cryptocurrency. 

DETAILS OF THE PARTNERSHIP

The former is a cryptocurrency exchange platform while the latter is a billing platform. Together, they have created a cryptocurrency bills payment system irrespective of whether the business accepts digital coins or not.

Cointree, which already has a cryptocurrency bill payment feature, believes the partnership creates a more robust service for customers. According to Financial Review, Gobbill will act as the intermediary, collecting the funds and settling on the bills on behalf of the user.

Commenting on the partnership, Shendon Ewans, a Gobbill co-founder said:

We only launched in the last year, and we have a small number of users, but the partnership with Cointree and with our other with MyProsperity we’ll see more growth. Fast forward into the future and what we’re seeing is, like it or not, this will be part of our daily lives. Gobbill already let people pay bills from their cards or bank accounts, so now they can pay in cryptocurrency too.

According to the Cointree’s operations manager, Jess Rendon:

Last year alone we [Cointree] had about $100 million of bills paid and saw ten times growth in this payment feature.

The new partnership will most likely come as a welcome development for virtual currency enthusiasts in Australia. Cryptocurrencies continue to remain anathema to most prominent banks in the country. Thus, this partnership provides another adoption-case for crypto-believers down under.

PAYING BILLS WITH CRYPTOCURRENCY

Apart from the Cointree-Gobbill partnership, there are other platforms that allow users settle their bills using cryptocurrency.

In May 2018, another Australia-based startup – Living Room of Satoshi — launched a service that allows Aussies pay their domestic bills using Bitcoin. At the time, the company reported that it had facilitated up to more $5 million worth of cryptocurrency bill payment transactions.

Outside Australia, there are other similar platforms and services.

As early as 2014, a company called Bill Ninja was already enabling people in the Philippines to pay their bills via Bitcoin.

In the EU, there is BitBill which works for countries that support SEPA transfers such as Germany, Belgium, France, and the Netherlands. Unlike most services of this nature that utilize only Bitcoin, BitBill supports more than 20 cryptocurrencies.

*This post is credited to Bitcoinist.

  • The World Bank mandates Commonwealth Bank of Australia to arrange the first ever blockchain bond.

  • Named bond-i, or Blockchain Offered New Debt Instrument, the bond will be created and managed with distributed ledger technology.

The World Bank has mandated Commonwealth Bank of Australia to arrange the world’s first blockchain bond.

The Kangaroo bond, referring to foreign bonds issued in Australia in the local currency, has been named bond-i, an acronym standing for Blockchain Offered New Debt Instrument. (It’s also a reference to Bondi Beach, an iconic spot in Sydney.)

According to the institution, the bond will be the first in the world to be created, allocated, transferred and managed with blockchain technology. That tech, which underpins cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, refers to the distributed ledger technology that securely records all transactions made on the chain.

“Blockchain has the potential to streamline processes among numerous debt capital market intermediaries and agents. This can help simplify raising capital and trading securities; improve operational efficiencies; and enhance regulatory oversight,” a joint release from the two organizations said.

When launched, the bond will be both issued and distributed on a blockchain platform operated by the World Bank and CBA.

A private Ethereum-based blockchain is in use for the project as it has the necessary capabilities, but CBA said that it was open to other options in the future as the space develops.

The World Bank, meanwhile, said investor interest in the bond has thus far been strong. Together with CBA, it intends to launch the transaction after wider consultation with more investors.

Advocates of blockchain technology say it makes processes faster and more secure, but some are concerned amid hype around the technology’s potential that the intense fanfare could potentially lead to a bubble.

*This post is credited to CNBC.

While some major banks have refused to go near anything related to virtual currencies, Australia might see its first cryptocurrency bank in the not-too-distant future. That’s if one of the country’s leading entrepreneurs, Fred Schebesta, can make his goal a reality.

According to News.com, the founder of the country’s leading comparison website, Finder, is not deterred by the industry’s volatility. In fact, Schebesta believes that interest in digital currencies is stronger than ever. He explained:

At its core, you’ve got to remember, just because the price of Bitcoin has gone down and people feel angry, that doesn’t reduce the interest.

Even though industry enthusiasts are well aware of the allure of decentralization, the masses are still getting there. Get there they will, according to Schebesta:

You don’t have your money. The bank has your money. Have you ever gone to the bank and asked for all your money? If everyone did a bank run on CommBank [Commonwealth Bank of Australia] right now, they wouldn’t be able to service it. That’s why I’m so big on crypto. I think eventually people will go, ‘Oh my god, this is so messed up’, and they’ll move to where they can hold their value. Not all of their money, but some of it.

CRYPTOCURRENCY IS THE FUTURE

The entrepreneur went on to add:

We’re living in the future. That’s what I’m all about. I think I’m a time traveller. I travel forward five years in the future, work it out then come back and try to take active steps to make it happen.

This next step in Schebesta’s future appears to be setting up a cryptocurrency bank. However, in order to offer its clients a range of financial services, said bank needs an authorized deposit-taking institution (ADI) license. Which is why Schebesta has purchased a personal shareholding in an existing bank, West Australia’s Goldfields Money:

They’re a $35 million market cap, tiny business, but a bank, and the only bank with an ADI in Western Australia.

AUTONOMY OVER YOUR OWN MONEY

He went on to explain his reasoning for undertaking such a massive venture while referencing Finder:

Comparison wasn’t very big because Australians weren’t really comparing, but I thought that was going to change, so I put a big investment and a big bet on comparison. I think with crypto, [people will want to] own their own currency and be able to hedge against fiat currency.

Schebesta hopes to have his bank ready for business within 18 months.

The cryptocurrency community in Australia must be ready to whip out the barbie in jubilation as the country seems to be making great strides in industry adoption. First the billion-dollar deal with IBM, and then Queensland actively working towards making the state the crypto friendliest yet.

Now, with the recent launch of index-style cryptocurrency fund, and a possible cryptocurrency bank on the horizon, the country could be trading kangaroos for crypto acceptance when it comes to what it’s most well-known for.

*This post is credited to Bitcoinist.