Australian Pilot Project Puts Driver Licenses on the Blockchain

Australia’s government in New South Wales (NSW) is turning to blockchain for a broad test of its driver card digitization scheduled for November.

On August 20, the New South Wales government stated in an announcement that they were going to start a pilot project for driver’s licences in the state before a formal roll-out in 2009. In total, 140,000 people are going to participate in the pilot project. The Australian IT company and technological partner of the pilot project, Secure Logic stated on Monday September 10. that the blockchain based platform is going to support the initiative to secure data in a distributed manner.

The TrustGrid blockchain network has already been tried in a previous pilot of the scheme that was conducted in Dubbo City last year, as ZDNet disclosed on Monday. The goal of the new pilot program is to utilize a distributed network to store and authenticate data from the driver licences, allowing users to show their drivers licence through a mobile application. With this technology in place, there will no longer be a need to carry the physical drivers licence when driving. Additionally, people will no longer need to carry physical licenses to prove their age and identity when controlled by the police or when entering age-restricted venues.

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The initiative is the result of a bill that was passed in May, which gave a permission for the government’s project to provide residents with a digital driving license backed by a blockchain, said the report. The scheme fits with the country’s overall goal of adopting blockchain and distributed ledger technology as part of the Digital Economy initiative, which CoinDesk reported last year.

This is not the only way the Australian government has planned to utilize blockchain technology. An Australian federal agency which focuses on scientific research is currently working with IBM to develop a national blockchain that will enable businesses to perform transactions based on smart legal contracts.