CBA and Telstra working on ‘top-secret’ blockchain project

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It was on-track to become one of Australia’s best-kept tech development secrets, but today details have been leaked about a clandestine blockchain technology collaboration between Australia’s biggest bank and biggest telco.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) and Telstra have assembled a team of developers to build a distributed ledger platform to enable secure high-value online transactions.

The details about the secret project have been leaked to the AFR, and neither the CBA or Telstra have denied the reports.

“It’s too early to discuss” a spokesperson for both companies told the AFR.

Patent application link

The blockchain project is believed to be linked to a patent application filed by the CBA and Telstra in December 2018.

The invention is described as “a method and system for electronic escrow for goods or services.”

The application lists Nikesh Lalchandani as an inventor. Mr Lalchandani is a former CBA executive, who in December 2018 became the Chief Strategy Officer of blockchain start-up Bloxian Technology.

Australia blockchain
The patent application submitted by CBA & Telstra in December 2018.

CBA continuing to explore blockchain potential

Online transactions isn’t the first blockchain application to be investigated by the CBA. The banking giant has shown a distinct willingness to experiment with distributed ledger technology.

In August 2018, it worked alongside the World Bank to issue the world’s first blockchain bond, delivered using the Ethereum blockchain.

Also last year, the bank used the Ethereum blockchain in an experiment that tracked a shipment of almonds from Australia to Germany.