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Australian government invests $8 million in blockchain

Blockchain is government approved.

The Australian government is showing support for blockchain by pumping in over $8 million taxpayer-funded investment in a cryptocurrency-based company.

The breakdown of this investment shows a grant of $2.57 million in direct funding into the Fremantle-based project, and additional $5.68 million funds provided by partners including blockchain firm Power Ledger and your local WA universities, Curtin and Murdoch.

This Perth-based energy tech startup, Power Ledger, is the first Australian startup to successfully secure $34 million via an initial coin offering (ICO) through the ethereum cryptocurrency network.

Using blockchain technology, Power Ledger said the platform provides a transparent, auditable and automated market trading and clearing mechanism for residential and commercial businesses to decide whom they want to sell their surplus energy to and at what price.

The data is used to track household data on energy consumption and generation, allowing neighbours to trade excess energy or shortages with each other automatically, as they would share on the stock market.

 

SO WHAT IS THIS INVESTMENT FOR?

This investment is part of the $50 million ‘Smart cities and Suburbs Program’ by the government to support innovative smart city projects which improves quality of life in cities across Australia by solving practical problems.

According to their press release, the project will assess how cities can use blockchain technology and data analytics to integrate distributed energy and water systems.

The project will involve academic, infrastructure and technology partners each playing different roles.

I think this calls for a massive shoutout to NBN. Why haven’t major parts of some cities gotten any connection?

HOW WILL IT WORK?

The company said the trial involved highly resilient, low-carbon and low-cost systems installed and connected using blockchain technology.

They even provided a useful image to map it out.

Via Power Ledger.

“We will develop a smart metering, battery storage and blockchain trading system to allow energy and water efficiencies between critical dispersed infrastructures that would otherwise have required physical co-location,” Professor Greg Morrison of Curtin University said.

Mayor of the City of Fremantle Brad Pettitt also gave the stamp of approval.

“We are delighted to host this project in the City of Fremantle.

“This collaboration between existing infrastructure, renewable energy and innovative technology fits with our One Planet zero carbon energy target and will help us to secure the ongoing sustainability of essential services for communities that live here,” he said.

The Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation Angus Taylor said in a statement to Business Insider, the government’s investment across the Smart Cities program was seed capital for bold projects as part of its digital transformation agenda.

“I’ve always believed in the enormous potential of distributed energy generation,” Mr Taylor said.

“It’s not just emissions reduction but is also a way of taking big costs out of the system and solving shortages.”

Highlighting that the government need to walk with the trend, amidst uncertainty.

“I can never be sure of which technologies are going to be most successful, but there are some pretty sure bets among this group, he said to Business Insider.

The project will span over two years and set to commence within the next two months.

 

It seems like blockchain is here to stay, we already know that, but with the government taking part in it, will blockchain fully integrate into society?

Bitcoin is surpassing itself every time, and ethereum is blending hard and fast into mainstream culture.

Let’s now wait and see if any regulation for blockchain will come up.

Female founders step up at Startup Vic's pitch night
Australian government invests $8 million in blockchain
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Female founders step up at Startup Vic's pitch night