Sovereign blockchain strategy planned by Australia
(19 March 2019 - Australia) The Australian federal government has announced plans to develop a National Blockchain Strategy to position Australia as a global leader in distributed ledger technology (DLT).
The strategy is expected to focus on policy areas including regulation, skills and capacity building, innovation, investment and international competiveness and collaboration.
The ‘blockchain roadmap’ is set to be developed in consultation with contributions from industry experts, in addition to the CSIRO’s digital division ‘Data61’, who will incorporate its findings on blockchain. Data61 has led the Australian government’s research into practical applications of blockchain, including collaboration with CBA to apply programmable ‘smart money’ to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). As part of the project, CBA developed and trialled a blockchain-based prototype app with NDIS participants and service providers as a test case for the potential use of digital currency.
The blockchain ‘roadmap’ announcement was made shortly after advice from the Digital Transformation Agency was released urging pragmatism from agencies around the use of blockchain by government.
Australian Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews announced the strategy and A$100,000 in accompanying funding on Monday to nurture a burgeoning industry. The A$100,000 funding will be used to bankroll attendance by Australian companies at AUSTRADE’s third Mission to Consensus in New York in May. “It is a landmark event for the blockchain industry. The strategy would put Australia on the front door in exploring how government and industry can enhance the long-term development of blockchain and its uses” Andrews stated.
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Simon Birmingham, said the event would allow Australian blockchain companies and start-ups to connect with investors and customers. “Consensus is the leading event for blockchain globally and will present significant opportunities for Australian tech companies to showcase their products on the world-stage. It is vital Australia and our tech companies stay ahead of the game in one of the world’s fastest growing technology sectors.”