The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) is testing a system that automates funds transfer instructions that runs on blockchain. The financial intelligence agency is collaborating with Swinburne University of Technology on this experiment that will run for 12 months. If it proves to be successful, it will speed up fund transfers issued by entities under AUSTRAC surveillance.
Smart Contracts on Blockchain: The Solution for Faster Financial Transfers
AUSTRAC is the authority that oversees international fund transfer instructions (IFTI) issued by banks, remitters and casinos. Together with Swinburne University of Technology, they started working on a proof-of-concept (PoC) project in December 2018.
During the 12 months of the test, AUSTRAC and Swinburne will monitor and analyse the feasibility of smart contracts on blockchain for IFTI automation. A spokesperson for the project told ZDNet that they are also exploring other technologies.
Swinburne University – Home of the Blockchain Centre of Excellence
AUSTRAC chose Swinburne as partner in the project because of their expertise in blockchain technology. The university has recently opened its own Blockchain Centre of Excellence. It is the result of a collaboration with the consultancy company Capgemini. The centre has the headquarters in the Hawthorn campus in Melbourne and its purpose is to advance blockchain technologies.
The university benefits from Capgemini’s experience in the implementation of blockchain, from proof-of-concept to production phase. Now, they are using this acquired know-how in the new partnership with AUSTRAC.
Deputy vice-chancellor and research and development professor, Aleksandar Subic, spoke of this new collaboration:
We see this technology as the key digital innovation platform supporting global supply chains, intellectual property, and trade across a range of industry sectors in the future.
Blockchain Gains Traction in the World of Finance
The AUSTRAC test is only the most recent development in a series of exciting events for blockchain promoters. Last month, one of the largest networks in the world managing interbank payments, SWIFT, has also went one step further to adopting the technology. The PoC will be used for end-to-end tracking, credit confirmation and payer authentication.
At the same time, US bank JP Morgan Chase (whose CEO, Jamie Dimon, called Bitcoin a ‘fraud’ back in 2017) revealed that it is working on its own JPM Coin token to increase efficiency. These separate events, put together, confirm what blockchain enthusiasts affirmed in the past. They show that blockchain is a safe, versatile and dependable technology capable of transforming various industries.
Especially in the financial world, safety, speed of transfer and transparency in transactions are of paramount importance. While the traditional system relies on the reputation of established institutions and national currencies, blockchain brings clarity and reliable traceability.
Regardless of the result of AUSTRAC’s test project, one thing is certain: the trend has started and it cannot be stopped. Blockchain has a good chance of transforming our lives and way of doing business.