WA's massive mining industry is missing a trick by not moving quickly on blockchain technology.
Resource companies in Western Australia that form a multi-billion-dollar mining industry can benefit greatly from adopting blockchain technology, according to one expert.
While blockchain technology, FinTech’s poster-child has seen rampant development and early deployment in the financial services industry, other industries are catching on to research the innovation toward practical applications in core processes.
The energy industry, as an example, is making notable efforts toward exploring and testing blockchain applications. For instance, Wien Energie, Austria’s largest utility company revealed a blockchain-based model for energy trading this month. A significant majority of the energy industry in Europe’s economic giant, Germany, was revealed to be interested in adopting blockchain technology. Spanish electricity giant Endesa announced the launch of a blockchain laboratory to encourage and foster blockchain-solutions for the energy industry.
While European resource companies explore blockchain solutions, Western Australia’s mining and energy companies are missing a trick, according to blockchain industry experts.
Western Australia’s (WA) mining and energy industry has been the driving force behind the region’s booming economic growth over the past decade. While wider Australia has shown considerable interest in blockchain technology, particularly in the case of the country’s largest securities exchange, local energy companies are slow to move on the technology.
According to a report by regional publication The West, blockchain-specific client workshops hosted by a major law firm are pushing the industry to adopt the innovation.
“There comes a point where they are going to have to invest a little bit in the skills because when it ramps up, they won’t be able to build those skills quickly enough,” stated Bernadette Jew, a partner at Gilbert + Tobin.
The workshops, hosted with New York-based blockchain specialist George Samman, has pointed to a number of advantages offered by blockchain technology. This includes enhanced, real-time tracking of goods from their very origin, immutable recording and sharing of exploration results in mining research, enhanced means of measuring product quality during transportation and more.
Samman points to a notable increase in blockchain interest among Australian companies since the turn of 2016. The ‘hype’ phase of blockchain technology has already passed, according to the consultant.
In quotes reported by the publication, he added:
It’s only a matter of time before they’re (resource companies) either a piece of a supply chain that is using blockchain, part of a consortium which is using blockchain to do something or they’re forming their own blockchain technologies to use throughout their organizations.
Corporates cannot afford to wait much longer in adopting the transformational innovation, according to Jew, who also points to the opportunity of creating entirely new blockchain-based business models to generate revenue.
Notably, Australian blockchain startups have already partaken in micro-trading models. Power Ledger, a Perth-based startup in Western Australia conducted an eight-week trial where a peer-to-peer blockchain grid for energy trading was put to use toward the end of 2016. WA is also home to a housing project of solar-powered one-bedroom apartments developed by the region’s government, where excess energy will be traded over a blockchain.
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