On Thursday, July 5, it was announced that IBM, one of the world`s largest computing firms has secured a ‘milestone contract’ with the government of Australia to develop blockchain and other digital technology initiatives for the government. The AUD $1 billion ($740 million US dollars) contract will be in force for the next five years – until June 2023. This new agreement was spearheaded by the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) and it is expected to extend the public-private partnership to the remainder of the government as well.


This major investment move by the Australian government to enter into a blockchain agreement with IBM sits very well with its ambitions and plans to become one of the world’s “top-three digital governments” by 2025 by pumping funds into investments in blockchain technology research, coupled with  artificial intelligence and quantum computing.


The managing director of IBM Australia & New Zealand David La Rose stated: “this agreement is a testament to our forty-year partnership with the Australian Government. It shows trust and belief in our ability to transform and provide world-leading capabilities, leveraging our investments locally in AI, blockchain, quantum and cloud.” He added: “We look forward to helping the Australian Government to re-define the digital experience for the benefit of all Australians.”


IBM presently has contractual agreements with a couple of state institutions in Australia. Prior to the announcement of this latest contract, IBM had signed agreements with four federal agencies.. It has not yet been publicly disclosed whether this new agreement will substantially affect earlier agreements with state institutions. IBM has been cautious with making public statements regarding its prospects of actually earning more under the deal than it would have otherwise. However, IBM has minced no words in its public statements about the fact that this deal happens to be the largest contract negotiated by the Australian government.


According to an earlier CCN  report, IBM has made enormous strides in the blockchain industry is fast gaining the reputation for being a major player in the enterprise blockchain space. A couple of days back, an IBM-powered blockchain platform we.trade hosted live trades involving four major European financial institutions, including HSBC and Deutsche Bank.


A recent news report revealed that IBM had entered into an alliance with fintech startup Veridium Labs to issue a cryptocurrency token on the Stellar network. ‘The “verde” token is backed by carbon credits, which will help finance the cultivation of a 250-square mile patch of rainforest in Indonesia,’ according to a CCN report.


IBM has also experimented with public blockchain development. The tech firm signed an agreement with Stellar — creator of the lumens (XLM) cryptocurrency in 2017. This agreement was intended to among other things allow the use of XLM network as the “core backbone” for a cross-border banking solution with a focus on emerging markets.


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Image from MIT Technology Review

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