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Two Banks have successfully used Blockchain for Commercial Property Lease

by Harikrishna Mekala

ANZ and Westpac coupled with IBM and shopping mall operator Scentre Group to digitize the guarantee process.

The trial used scattered ledger technology to replace paper-based evidence documents, following in a single source of information with decreased potential for cheating and improved efficiency.

The use of blockchains, used to allow the digital currency Bitcoin, suggests you can show where data has come from and gone to, generating new economic movement in areas such as financial services, supply chains, and state registries.

Data61, a design of Australia’s peak science institution, the CSIRO, has been investigating how blockchain technology could be employed in Australia to deliver productivity benefits.

The ASX is also thinking of replacing its CHESS properties clearing and settlement system with blockchain.

Mark Bloom, chief financial officer at Scentre Group, says a renew of the decades-old process for issuing, tracking and maintaining on guarantees is long overdue.

“With approximately 11,500 retailers across Australia and New Zealand who study evidence to support rental obligations, manual tracking of support has been an extremely cumbersome and energy intensive process,” he says.

Nigel Dobson, the ANZ’s general administrator wholesale digital, says the bank has remained keen to avoid the hype circling blockchain and instead has concentrated on the practical.

“This proof of concept demonstrates how we can collaborate with our partners to develop a digital solution for customers, which also has the potential for industry-wide adoption,” he says.

Andrew McDonald, general director corporate and institutional banking at Westpac, says the new process is about eliminating the cost of fraud, error and operational risk.

“Next steps include supporting all industry players to embrace this technology so we can properly protect and save money for our customers,” he says.

“Beyond that, there is no reason why this couldn’t be used across other industries.”

At IBM, Dr. Joanna Batstone, director of IBM Research Australia, says she thinks blockchain can probably drive productivity across all Australian industries.

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