Blockchain reports to strengthen Australia’s position as world leader

Two new reports from Australian government’s leading data innovation research group could cement the country’s position as a world leader in blockchain innovation and development, according to industry group FinTech Australia.

CSIRO’s Data61 innovation group today released a comprehensive review of how blockchain technology could be adopted across government and industry in Australia to deliver productivity benefits and drive local innovation.

FinTech Australia CEO Danielle Szetho said the reports provided a wealth of examples of how blockchain technology could be deployed to deliver real world improvements.

“These reports are a great analysis and evaluation of where blockchain technologies might best be utilised by industry and government. Not only do they display depth of knowledge, backed by scientifically robust research methodologies, they also underscore the breadth of use cases and opportunities in academia, government and multiple industry sectors,” Ms Szetho said.

“Australia already plays a leading role in the development of global standards for blockchain, and our financial regulators are well progressed in examining how DLT and digital currencies may impact the Australian financial landscape.

“If we can get alignment and commitment from all sides of government to support continued efforts around blockchain industry development, Australia can consolidate its emerging competitive advantage in this arena, and cement its position as world leader in this emerging field.”

Australia is already involved in several leading blockchain innovations. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is working with Australia Post and Blackmores will explore the use of blockchain in food fraud prevention, and the world’s first live settlement of a physical commodity with blockchain was completed by Australian company AgriDigital.

Australia is also home to a world leading blockchain knowledge hub and co-working space, Melbourne’s Blockchain Centre.

Emma Weston, CEO of AgrDigital, said the Data61 reports represented a landmark moment in how Australia approached blockchain technology.

“The twin reports represent both a strategic view with scenarios for adoption as well as a technical implementation focus. The three selected use cases of supply chain, registries and payments are areas where blockchain technology can create efficiencies and benefits in the near term,” said Ms Weston.

“What I like about the reports is the balance between strategic foresight and technical implementation between risk and opportunity – this is exactly the balance we need to be aiming for as innovators.”

Martin Davidson, Blockchain Centre Co-founder and Community Manager, said the report put Australia at the cutting edge of blockchain technology education.

“The opportunity for blockchain technology to connect billions of underserved people to the global financial system cannot be understated and the reports are a `must read ´for everyone in today´s society,” said Mr Davidson.

“Investment by the Australian Government through Data 61 to research this undeniably globally transformative technology puts Australia on the leading edge of nations looking to educate people on the applications and opportunities presented by blockchain.”

The Australian Government recently announced that it would remove double taxation on bitcoin from 1 July 2017, stating that digital currencies would no longer be subject to Australia’s goods and services tax.

In addition, the Australian Government has provided $350,000 in funding to Standards Australia to help develop new international standards on blockchain. A roadmap for the development of these standards was released in March.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) also recently released an information sheet on blockchain providing a framework to help businesses assess whether potential blockchain solutions would meet the relevant technology and risk management requirements.

FinTech Australia is the peak industry body for Australia’s financial technology sector, with more than 100 startup members out of an estimated 400 fintech companies in Australia.

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CSIRO’s Data61 Blockchain report can be found here:                                 http://www.data61.csiro.au/en/Our-expertise/Expertise-Strategic-insight/Blockchain

About FinTech Australia
FinTech Australia is a national association for the Australian FinTech Startup community. Our vision is to make Australia the leading market for FinTech Innovation and Investment by working with both sides of Government, Industry and the Australian FinTech community to create a supportive environment and partner ecosystem in Australia and abroad.

Media enquiries:
Melissa Mack
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Email: melissa.mack@mcpartners.com.au