Australia Releases National Blockchain Strategy
The government of Australia has published its national blockchain roadmap entitled “Progressing towards a blockchain-empowered future”, in an attempt to take a contributing position in what’s yet to come in the global-scale DLT industry.
Similar to other nations including China, Japan, and the EU, the Australian state showcases the benefits blockchain technology yields for the country’s economy, as well as strategic opportunities that range across most industrial sectors, from supply chain and agtech to fintech and I.4.0 banking.
The document, that was released earlier this month, is particularly focusing on the vast macro-economic advances blockchain technology has to offer to the financial sector, international settlements, and better anti-money laundering protocols.
“Together, we can drive the long-term development and adoption of blockchain technology, and capitalise on the tremendous economic and social opportunities it offers.” – Karen Andrews, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology
Australia is upscaling its national policy to align with international standards
According to the Ministry of Industry, Science and Technology the roadmap was initially proposed back in 2019, and it seems like it took less than a year to in-house agencies to communicate and agree on a common agenda.
Besides the Ministry of Industry, S&T, the Ministry of Trade, Tourism, and Investment has also posited its views on the matter, citing that blockchain technology is set to revolutionize pretty much everything that runs on the internet, including money, urging Australia to become a leading contributor to this yet booming industry.
It is true to say that the Aussies were not much into blockchain, at least not on a state-level, until recently, when the country showcased significant maturity on the subject over the last couple of years.
More specifically, and back in 2018, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (AUSTRAC), which is basically the government agency responsible for overseeing financial activity in the country, proposed a series of regulations that would treat cryptocurrencies and other blockchain-powered digital assets under the same skirt with traditional financial instruments.
This is a common starting point for many governments, and like in most cases it paid off with Australia as well, considering that over 300 cryptocurrency exchanges, and/or brokers involved with crypto activity, registered with AUSTRAC between 2019 and 2020.
Although the document avoids addressing concerns regarding Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency, focusing only on why and how Australia should be part of the blockchain revolution, I remember the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority submitting a request to oversee the development of Libra before the Senate Select Committee on Financial and Regulatory Technology earlier this year, even after RBA said Libra is banned from operating in Australian shores – a comment similar to that of European financier Bruno Le Mair.
In general, it is always good to see another major Queensland country join the blockchain revolution and to be honest, I think they act at a very fast pace when compared to the rest of the world.
At the same time, the document suggests that there is a huge demand for blockchain-skilled professionals that the Australian ICT community could be beneficiary of.
More specifically, the Australian government estimates that over 470,000 Australian professionals in the digital sector could be trained and seize the world-scale opportunity that lies ahead for the grabs.
Are you an Australian? Let me know your thoughts on the matter in the comments section below, or feel free to hit me on Twitter, in order to discuss blockchain development in AU.