Diamonds are for ledger: Aussie government grants blockchain projects $5.6m
The Australian government continues to back blockchain tech. ScoMo and friends are dishing out a juicy $5.6 million (US$4.2 million) in grants for two projects as part of the Blockchain Pilot Grants initiative.
The projects will be delivered by Everledger, which has a Brisbane chapter focused on improving transparency within the diamond and gemstone industry, and Toronto-based technology consultancy Convergenge.Tech, which has a Melbourne office.
Note, don’t go looking for them on CoinGecko, as neither company has an investable ‘token’ model.
The grants build upon Australia’s National Blockchain Roadmap, first announced in 2019, which aims to encourage blockchain innovation, opportunities and collaboration locally and internationally.
According to the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Christian Porter, the goals of the two pilot projects are to show how blockchain can support supply chain solutions and help ease regulatory burdens within Australia’s “critical minerals” and food and beverage sectors.
While it doesn’t sound particularly sexy, supply chain efficiency is often cited within crypto circles as being one of the use cases that has the most potential to spread adoption of blockchain and crypto technology across a multitude of industries.
“The Blockchain Pilot Grants will demonstrate the potential for blockchain to help businesses save money and cut red tape by improving processes such as tracking products throughout the supply chain and transferring customer information,” Minister Porter said on Tuesday.
Founded by Aussie entrepreneur Leanne Kemp, Everledger has received AUD$3 million of the funding to investigate how blockchain tech can be used to create “digital certification for critical minerals throughout extraction and movement phases”.
In plainer English, it should help Everledger in its mission to track diamonds and gems from the moment they’re removed from the ground, to the point they’re sold and used for engagement rings, hip-hop artists’ teeth and crypto billionaires’ toilet seats.
The Morrison government is hoping the boost to the project will help Aussie mining companies adhere to compliance regulations, as well as increase demand for Aussie products internationally.
Everledger will work with @IndustryGovAu on digital certification project for Critical Minerals. @leanne_kemp: "This project places #Australia at the top of an ethical, sustainable supply chain." Read on: https://t.co/UrPnrjpHh9#techforgood #sustainability #blockchain
— Everledger (@everledgerio) July 13, 2021
Convergence.Tech (not to be confused with DeFi project Convergence), meanwhile, will receive $2,663,000 worth of funding. Its aim will be to provide food and beverage companies (including beer, wine and spirits) with a means to reduce compliance costs associated with the creation, storage, and transportation of their products.
— Digital ID & Auth. Council of Canada – DIACC (@mydiacc) July 12, 2021
The two grants are just the latest commitment to blockchain-based innovation in Australia. Late last month, the Australian government also provided a whopping AUD$60 million funding grant to boost the country’s Digital Finance Cooperative Research Centre (DFRC).
In its own mouthful of words, the DFRC is a “cross-industry, multi-disciplinary consortium bringing together a unique group of stakeholders in fintech, research, industry and regulation to develop and commercially exploit the huge opportunities arising from the next transformation of the financial markets.”
The government funding will “have a profound impact on the rate of achievable economic growth,” said DFCRC CEO Dr Andreas Furche. “[It will] pave the way for new types of investable assets and whole new markets.”