Commonwealth Bank backs blockchain conference

Workshops in Sydney to examine the technology that drives Bitcoin

The Commonwealth Bank and research organisation COALA are teaming up to host a series of Sydney workshops that will examine the potential of blockchain-based technology.

Blockchain technology’s best-known use is as the distributed ledger employed by cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

COALA is a research organisation that has helped organise an international series of blockchain workshops. The Sydney workshops will be the fifth event in the series.

“Blockchain has the potential to transform banking in the way that the internet transformed how we buy music and watch movies,” Commonwealth Bank CIO David Whiteing said in a statement.

“It’s an exciting time in the development of this technology and our involvement means Commonwealth Bank is set to be at the forefront of this in Australia for the benefit of our customers.”

CBA earlier this year joined an international partnership led by R3 that seeks to bring blockchain technology to the banking sector.

The series of Sydney workshops in December will look at technology, regulatory issues and the potential for ‘cryptoledger’ technology in Australia.

In September, Greg Medcraft, the chairperson of Australia's corporate regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, said he believed that the blockchain has the potential to dramatically change the global financial system.

"In the traditional market, buyers and sellers can't automatically trust each other, so they use intermediaries to help give them the comfort they need,” Medcraft said in a speech at the Adelaide campus of Carnegie Mellon University.

"With blockchain, the decentralised ledger offers this trust. Investors can deal with each other and with issuers in private markets directly."

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