Today, the largest Australian bank announced that it has been partnering with a division of the Australian government to research a specific usage for Bitcoin. Just like almost every other finding in the space, this one is supposed to a unique one.
According to Cointelegraph and Business Insider Australia, these two entities have successfully completed a pilot of what appears to be a centralized fork of Bitcoin. On the surface, the only difference between this token and Bitcoin appears to be that it will be tightly controlled by Data61 and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, which are the two entities responsible for creating it. In this context, it should be made clear that Data61 is representing the interests of the country’s government with regards to this project.
As to how this is specifically playing out, keep in mind first that they putting their token under the umbrella of research related to making money smart. Here, by the term smart, they seem to mean that the token’s use cases will be precisely detailed by its creators. Cointelegraph reports that this means it will fit the needs of those looking to run insurance payouts as well as those looking for better budgeting and management for charitable organizations and trusts on the Blockchain.
What you might be thinking at this point is: why? Why is this effort special? Why do they not just use Bitcoin or another existing Cryptocurrency?
Well, first, it’s the government.
They do not want to seem like they are losing control of something, at least not in most cases. Second, the primary use case for this network is a more specific example of one of those that have already been mentioned above.
At its core, it is meant for running payments from Australia’s national disability insurance providers to those who are insured and need these payments. In effect, we can conclude that they found the blockchain to be quicker and more trustable in doing so. Since it is an immutable ledger, no one will be able to reliably dispute who was or was not paid at what time, in what amount.
Furthermore, since this project was mostly built for this particular purpose, it is easy to see why they want it to be centralized, even if you do not agree with their idea. There are significant risks involved with making something that comes from the government decentralized, including the system being hacked. Nobody wants a large group of average citizens to lose the disability insurance payments that they might be depending on.
In the end, while this is not Bitcoin and not really a Cryptocurrency either, it is a move towards a government fully accepting money in a fully digital form. Furthermore, Australia is still one of the most progressive countries with regards to Cryptocurrency related regulations as a whole.
By: BGN Editorial Staff