One of Australia’s ‘Big Four’ banks has committed to further blockchain investments as it steps up its overall IT spend.

ZDNet reports that Commonwealth Bank is looking to spend close to $1bn – an increase over last year – on technology in 2017. While published investor documents contain no hard numbers, the bank has reportedly pledged to continue investing in blockchain over the coming year.

The disclosure comes weeks after Commonwealth Bank said it was involved with a "cryptobond" blockchain project in collaboration with the Queensland Treasury Corporation (QTC), utilizing CBA’s capital markets platform to streamline the underwriting and settlement process for debt instruments. Traders using the system have access to a transparent order book where they can see bids for the bonds in real time.

Commonwealth Bank, one of the four largest institutions of its kind in Australia, has been working with the tech since mid-2015. It made headlines last October when the firm, in partnership with Wells Fargo, collaborated on a blockchain-focused trade finance project, specifically centered on the global cotton market.

The development comes amid a broader push toward blockchain among Australia’s finance space – as well as interest from regulators, who have expressed interest in the past in both bitcoin and blockchain-focused frameworks.

Image via Shutterstock

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