The latest blockchain venture in Australia involves doing away with plastic driver’s licenses and using a digital version instead.
Australia is one country that is continuing to explore and embrace blockchain. They have plans to incorporate the technology into their Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) and will even launch their own blockchain. However, an important part of adoption is showing people that this type of technology can be used in their everyday lives. Better yet, that it can offer them convenience.
To do this, the New South Wales government will be introducing digital driver’s licenses. According to ZDNet, over 140,000 drivers across Sydney’s Eastern Beaches will be a part of the government’s November trial which will aim to replace traditional plastic cards with a digital version. The latter will be available on the Service NSW app.
The trial follows a pilot project that was launched last November for residents in the city of Dubbo. It allowed drivers to use their digital licenses for identity- and age verification purposes as well as during roadside checks.
The technical partner for this initiative, Secure Logic, assisted with both the Dubbo pilot and the upcoming trial by using TrustGrid which delivers an “advanced blockchain solution.” The platform’s CEO, Santosh Devaraj, explained how this type of technology can streamline outdated processes, saying:
The era of standing in line to file government paperwork is coming to an end, as is our reliance on physical identification cards to establish your identity or proof of age with law enforcement or at licensed venues. These are mistake prone, time-consuming, expensive, and impractical ways to offer services.
While digitization is perhaps a more effective way of doing things, consumers and those affected worry about how much of their personal information is put out there. Devaraj touched on this while referencing the country’s controversial My Health Record initiative, where citizens’ medical and health history is available online. He said:
While it’s positive to see government pursue a platform that has the potential to save lives, people are right to be concerned about how their sensitive data is stored and could be exploited by hackers. Rather than a black and white method of opting ‘in or out’, TrustGrid could enable each individual to set the terms of their own digitized contract that governs exactly what personal information is disclosed through fine-grained consent and encryption policies.
A Blockchain Future for Australia
This new development definitely seems to be a part of the country’s future as legislation amendments have already been requested to cater to these digital licenses.
In showing just how committed they are to the technology, the country also recently partnered with the World Bank to successfully launch the world’s first blockchain-based bond. Their enthusiasm is not just reserved for blockchain though. The country’s fascination with, and adoption of, cryptocurrencies continues to grow, whether it be trading or even paying their bills.
Australia definitely seems to be making big strides in fully embracing this industry.
Do you think we could soon see a future of digital driver’s licenses? Let us know in the comments below!
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