Aussie state considers blockchain tech for land registry

A land registration agency in Australia is considering blockchain for recording property transactions, in the latest example of the technology being deploying in public administration.

New South Wales Land Registry Services, which operates title to land and is responsible for recording property transactions in the state, said it was launching a new proof-of-concept trial, local news outlet CIO  reported. Providing the trial proves successful, the agency would then look to deploy the technology within New South Wales, as part of ongoing efforts to digitize public records at state government level.

The use case is yet another example of government and public sector agencies harnessing the power of blockchain technology to improve existing systems at a local level.

The agency announced it would partner with Swedish firm ChromaWay, which will help in running the initial trial. The results are expected early in 2019.

At present, property transactions are recorded manually by hand, in a labor-intensive process that authorities are keen to digitize. However, before a blockchain platform could be used in its place, regulators are required to give the all clear.

If the system is eventually rolled out to land transactions in NSW, it will replace paper records of property transactions as the definitive ledger of reference for land registration in the state.

A spokesperson for ChromaWay said the security and immutability of blockchain made it a perfect fit for the land registration use case, explaining: “It will provide a more complete and comprehensive view of land rights, restrictions, and responsibilities, which will streamline decision-making for government and land sector actors, provide increased information transparency, and reduce data duplication.”

Authorities in New South Wales are no strangers to experiments with blockchain, and this week’s announcement follows the launch of several similar programs in recent months.

In the last few weeks, it has been announced that New South Wales will be digitizing driving license records on a blockchain platform, replacing the current licensing process for all new and renewing drivers in the Aussie state. Now, with the addition of the land registration use case, the authorities in New South Wales are continuing to demonstrate the possibilities with blockchain technology.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Aussie agency completes blockchain test, processes 30,000 transactions in 1 second

Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization) has successfully completed a test of its blockchain and the results are promising. The test, which was conducted on Amazon’s cloud computing network, was able to process 30,000 transactions in one second.

The blockchain, the Red Belly Blockchain, was created in a partnership between CSIRO, and the Concurrent System Research Group at the University of Sydney. The test utilized Amazon’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud platform and was conducted using 1,000 virtual machines in 14 geographic regions of the 18 serviced by AWS.

CSIRO confirmed the results in an announcement on Tuesday, explaining that “a benchmark was set by sending 30,000 transactions per second from different geographic regions, demonstrating an average transaction latency of three seconds with 1,000 replicas.”

The nodes involved were located in North America, South America, Sydney and Europe.

The premise of the test was to highlight Red Belly’s scalability while maintaining the core features of security and speed. The blockchain works on a unique consensus mechanism that is able to perform and scale without needing to rely on a proof of work protocol, which is what is seen most often by blockchains such as BTC and Ethereum.

A senior researcher with CSIRO, Dr. Vincent Gramoli, stated, “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.” He further explained, “The deployment of Red Belly Blockchain on AWS shows the unique scalability and strength of the next generation ledger technology in a global context.”

AWS has already seen its platform used to run two other experiments between July 2017 and this past May. The earlier test revealed throughput of 660,000 transactions per second across 300 machines, but was limited to a single geographic area.

CSIRO is partnered with tech giant IBM in a data consortium that is currently designed a blockchain platform that would be capable of being deployed on a large scale and across multiple industries. The platform, the Australian National Blockchain, is powered by smart contracts.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Aussie financial regulator tightens reins on ICO projects

Australia’s financial regulator is taking a hardline stance to protect initial coin offering (ICO) investors.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is tightening its reins and has plans to shut down ICOs that are “misleading or deceptive.” The ASIC has been working towards protecting investors in the highly unregulated ICO market. To date, the Aussie regulator has successfully shut down five ICO projects from raising capital because they lacked protective measures for investors. These ICOs are currently on hold status until they’ve restructured and are able to meet ASIC’s requirements.

In a statement, ASIC Commissioner John Price said, “If you raise money from the public, you have important legal obligations. It is the legal substance of your offer – not what it is called – that matters. You should not simply assume that using an ICO structure allows you to ignore key protections there for the investing public and you should always ensure disclosure about your offer is complete and accurate.”

The commission has identified “consistent problems” with token-generated events: the use of misleading or deceptive statements in sales and marketing materials; operating an illegal unregistered managed investment scheme (MIS); and not holding an Australian financial services license.

ASIC has already pointed out several issues of concerns in ICOs in the past and issued a guideline in 2017 to ensure investors security. The guideline also reminded ICO projects of their responsibilities before they issue tokens, as well as warned investors in the country against getting involved in “highly speculative investments” like ICOs.

According to ASIC Commissioner John Price, part of the problem was the fact that some ICOs assumed that the fundraising structure excluded them from being regulated and complying with existing consumer protection laws.

ASIC is focused on consumer protection in both the crypto and non-crypto space. The corporate regulator published a review on Tuesday where it disclosed that big banks took more than five years to repay customers for misconduct such as administrative errors. The report also disclosed that these banks fail to investigate and report on their mistakes and misconduct to the regulatory body.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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