The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) just released the results of a test they performed on a blockchain network they created in cooperation with the University of Sydney. According to an announcement that CSIRO made after the test was completed, their new blockchain network can process 30,000 international transactions per second.
Data61 at CSIRO and Concurrent Systems Research Group (CSRG) from the University of Sydney are responsible for creating the new network, which is called Red Belly Blockchain. CSIRO reported that, “The benchmark was set by sending 30,000 transactions per second from different geographic regions.” According to the same announcement the network was tested with 1,000 nodes in 14 countries, including Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Americas.
The slow transaction speed of first-generation blockchain platforms like Bitcoin have been a major source of criticism for blockchain. Proof-of-work systems seem to be at the heart of these problems. The new network uses a different algorithm, called deterministic byzantine consensus. The new platform seems to be much faster, which could open up doors for blockchain technology.
CSIRO is Making Progress
It isn’t a secret that blockchain platforms have been difficult to scale-up to the needs of the global economy. The Red Belly Blockchain is designed to overcome scalability issues, and appears to be going in the right direction. The seemingly successful trial was deployed using Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) global cloud infrastructure.
Dr. Vincent Gramoli, who is a senior researcher at Data61 and head of the CSRG said that,
“Real-world applications of blockchain have been struggling to get off the ground due to issues with energy consumption and complexities induced by the proof of work,”and that, “The deployment of Red Belly Blockchain on AWS shows the unique scalability and strength of the next generation ledger technology in a global context.”
CSIRO is working with IBM to create what some are calling the Australian National Blockchain as well. It is interesting to see that a national science agency is working to develop real-world solutions for a cutting-edge technology. Australian banks and companies have also been working hard to make blockchain-based systems practical for industry and consumers.
Lots of Blocks Down Under
Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) developed a proprietary blockchain system that was tested during the summer. They developed a blockchain-based platform to help exporters take advantage of the gains in efficiency that blockchain can create for the global logistics industry. They successfully used their system to coordinate a shipment of almonds from Australian farmers to European importers.
The platform that CBA developed was only used to track the shipment of almonds, but it could also grow into a trade finance platform as well. Many major Asian banks are developing blockchain-based trade finance systems, that could be deployed into the market at any time.
Power Ledger Keeps Growing
Power Ledger is another Australian blockchain firm that appears to be having success in the real world. They recently partnered with Aussie real estate heavyweight Vicinity to manage the electrical power in the Castle Plaza mall, which is located in Adelaide, South Australia.
The partnership is part of Vicinity’s $75 million AUD solar energy program, that seeks to help Vicinity utilize their solar assets at optimum efficiency. Power Ledger’s platform will help Vicinity to choose between their own solar power, and the national electrical grid.
Justin Mills, the executive general manager of Vicinity commented on why blockchain could help companies and consumers get the most for their money
“We see our partnership with Power Ledger as a significant opportunity to unlock a future of more competitive energy prices for our retailers and customers while potentially sharing clean, renewable energy to the communities surrounding our centres.”
Power Ledger is also helping businesses in Bangkok’s Sukhumvit district trade electrical power with each other. The platform that Power Ledger designed went live in Bangkok last month, and allows 635 Kw of solar power to be traded between four entities in one of Thailand’s richest areas. If the pilot program is successful, Power Ledger’s platform could be used in more than 30 other projects in Thailand.