Australian Gov’t Agency Unimpressed, Says Blockchain ‘At the Top of the Hype Cycle’

Australia’s Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) doesn’t appear to be impressed with the current state of blockchain technology. According to its chief digital officer, the technology is being pushed not by governments or users, but by vendors.

Blockchain at the “Top of a Hype Cycle”

Earlier this year, BitcoinLinux reported that the Australian Government provided AUD $700,000 to its Digital Transformation Agency in order to “investigate areas where blockchain technology could offer the most value for Government services.”

Almost half a year later, the DTA seems less than impressed with the current state of blockchain’s capabilities. Speaking at a Senate estimates hearing, the chief digital officer of DTA Peter Alexander said:

It’s an interesting technology but it’s early on in the development. It’s at the top of a hype cycle. A lot of the engagement [with the agencies] is comparing blockchain against existing technologies.

He also added that “without standardization and a lot more work, for every use of blockchain that you would consider today there is a better technology.”

It’s interesting, though, that while DTA was conducting the half a million dollar research, the Australian government chose IBM as a technology partner in a $740 million deal for providing services related to automation and blockchain technologies.

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Slightly Controversial

In a slightly awkwardly worded statement, Mr. Alexander outlined that governments are not, in fact, pushing for blockchain adoption:

It would be fair to say that a lot of the big vendors are pushing blockchain very hard and internationally most of the hype around blockchain is coming from vendors and companies, not from governments and users and deliverers of services.

And while it’s unclear what the difference between a “vendor” and a “deliverer of services” is, one thing is undeniably true and proudly acknowledged: those AUD$700,000 are being “absorbed”:

We actually costed that with the application of the team staff, and we’re absorbing that funding. We were doing some work on it, we have a team that will do that and we costed the staff effort.

In other words, half a million dollars and 6 months later, DTA determined that blockchain is “early on in the development.” Profound.

What do you think of DTA’s research on blockchain? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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