Blockchain ‘Smart Money’ to be Created by Commonwealth Bank of Australia, CSIRO

The bank and Australia’s scientific agency (CSIRO) have started a trial to research how distributed ledger technology can help payments in the national service for people with disabilities.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), a leading multinational financial institution, is working with Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) to analyze blockchain capabilities in terms of programmable money or smart money for people with disabilities, CSIRO said on Monday. The project, which is in a test period, can have broader implications as several main governmental bodies backed the initiative.

CBA and CSIRO developed a mobile application, called “Making Money Smart,” for using distributed ledger technology (DLT) in the payment system of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The project will enable central authorities to strictly control and analyze how NDIS uses state funding for delivering services to people with special needs.

The CBA and CSIRO DLT-based smart money concept uses a “programmable token, which functions like an IOU in the traditional payment system,” according to local media AFR. The app implements private blockchain solutions as NDIS works with sensitive personal information and various budget categories with different spending rules.

“Programmable money represents an opportunity to re-envisage how we think about money and how payments function across the economy,” Sophie Gilder, head of experimentation and blockchain, CBA’s Innovation Lab, said in the statement.

The “Making Money Smart” trial period uses a sandbox environment to implement blockchain capabilities to reduce cost, and increase transparency and trust. The app will allow the government to see who spends the money, when, and for what. Patients will easily find and book services from various NDIS providers.

The project received positive feedback from several central government bodies and the Australian financial technological industry. CBA participates in “Making Money Smart” through its Blockchain Centre of Excellence while CSIRO is involved by the agency’s data innovation division Data61.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia is very active in the DLT industry. Recently, the financial institution signed an agreement with the World Bank (WB) to issue the world’s first blockchain-based bond.