Commonwealth Bank of Australia Announces Blockchain Workshops

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has partnered with think tank organization the Coalition of Automated Legal Applications (COALA) to run blockchain workshops in Sydney.

The conference, called the Sydney Blockchain Workshops, will bring together regulators, policy makers and technologists to better understand the upcoming opportunities and challenges of blockchain tech, as well as their impact on the current social, economic and political order.

According to David Whiteing, CBA’s Group Executive and CIO, the event will offer a unique opportunity for Asia-Pacific regulators, government officials, academics and technologists to meet and listen to the world’s leading blockchain experts and academics.

“The conference provides both entry-level education and in-depth discussions about the huge potential of distributed ledgers and the resulting economic, commercial, legal and social policy questions,” Whitening said in a release.

“Blockchain has the potential to transform banking in the way that the Internet transformed how we buy music and watch movies. 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.”

Alongside CBA, another corporate partner for the workshops is Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

Daniel Biondi, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Fellow and Chief Technologist Financial Services, believes that blockchain technology has the potential to transform the financial services industry such as crypto apps, “potentially overhauling a legacy global banking system leading to much faster payments, including streamline B2B payments.”

“Bringing the whole ecosystem of stakeholders together through intellectual discussions along with the additional exploratory sessions from the Blockchain Workshops, will shed new light on how we can tap into this knowledge,” Biondi said. “Ultimately, this conference will help the industry to create proof of concepts and understand the business processes that we could potentially address first.”

The blockchain workshops are the fifth in a series of global events organized by COALA, an international collaborative research and development initiative focused on blockchain technologies, smart contracts and decentralized applications.

COALA regroups academics, lawyers, technologists and entrepreneurs. Its founding members include Primavera De Filippi, research fellow at Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University; Constance Choi, founder of Seven Advisory; and Amor Sexton, an attorney at Adroit Lawyers.

Starting from December 07, 2015, the Sydney Blockchain Workshops will include:

  • December 07-08: Invitation-only internal workshops to explore four different uses of blockchain tech: identity and privacy, smart contracts for financial transactions, jurisdictional issues and financial regulations and security and governance;
  • December 09: An invitation-only global regulatory roundtable designed to address the significant uncertainty about the regulatory treatment of digital currencies and blockchain tech both locally and globally;
  • December 09-10: an Asia-Pacific wide hackathon competition focused on creating unique open-source blockchain applications;
  • December 10-11: A public conference to facilitate innovation through education about the potential uses of crypto ledger technology and explore what the post-disruptive future could – and should – hold.

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