“Blockchain has been touted as the foundation of a new internet, but businesses and individuals should be realistic about the possibilities of the technology,” said Mohammed Khaiata, executive director, Blockchain of Australia, Chair of the ACS Blockchain Committee and author of ACS’ most recent report, Blockchain Fundamentals.

The new report is designed to provide real information in non-technical terms to policy and business decision-makers in Australia.

“Blockchain has tremendous potential in many industries, but people need to be better educated about what it is, how it works and what it is capable of before we can have a national discussion,” said Khaiata.

Blockchain Fundamentals lays down the foundations for this discourse.

The report walks through the foundations of blockchain – how it works, and why it works that way – before covering the real-world applications for Blockchain (including, but not limited to digital assets and cryptocurrency) as well as the shortcomings and ongoing issues with the technology.

“Nearly every industry and organisation can theoretically use blockchain in some fashion – for supply chains, for certification, for provenance and ownership, for new classes of digital assets, and for self-sovereign identity – but not every organisation has the maturity or need to use it,” noted Khaiata.

The report also dives into Web3.0, the idea of an internet built on peer-to-peer technology and validation rather than on server farms run by Amazon, Google and Microsoft.

According to ACS President Dr Nick Tate, the goal of the guide is to help decision makers – policy and business – make informed decisions about the technology based on fundamentals, not hype or headlines.

“Few technologies have made the headlines, good and bad, that blockchain has in recent years,” noted Dr Tate.

“It’s a fundamental debate about trust,” he said.

“Who can we trust in the internet age? Is it Google and Facebook and Amazon? Is it governments? Or is it technology?

“And there is incredible potential there, but we need to be careful. It’s a complex, multi-faceted discussion that we as individuals and collectively as a nation have to have.

“We have important decisions to be made around regulation. We have to ask if the technology is actually good enough.

“And we have to look at whether taking humans out of the loop fundamentally robs the process of humanity and human decision-making – and whether that might be a good or bad thing.”

The Blockchain Fundamentals report can be downloaded from here.