In a published paper to discuss the country’s digital strategy, the Australian government has picked blockchain technology, among others, as a transformational innovation toward enabling and supporting the digital economy and infrastructure of the future.
Earlier this week, the Australian Government announced an ambitious Digital Economy initiative via the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. The national Digital Economy Strategy sees the government attempt to stir conversation and bring together the private and public sectors with the government to digitize the economy and wider society.
With a newly published consultation paper, the Australian government picks out a number of emerging technologies including 5G spectrum mobile networks and artificial intelligence (AI). Notably, the government also highlights blockchain technology as a key core driver toward supporting its digital strategy.
“The next phase of the internet, where we are always on and always connected, has the potential to transform our economy even further,” reads an excerpt from the paper. “Horizontal platform technologies like distributed ledger technology (for example, blockchain) and machine learning will support innovation and productivity right across the economy.”
Underlining blockchain as an “emerging technology”, the paper went on to add:
Distributed ledger technology (for example, blockchain) has the potential to disrupt and revolutionise financial transactions and services. It can be applied wherever a verified and trusted transaction is required—health, government services, real estate, media, energy and more. Blockchain allows parties to transact without the need for a centralised intermediary (like a bank) to verify the transaction.
Big on Blockchain
The Australian government, with its FinTech-forward agenda, has notably set out to engage in discussing and even promote blockchain technologies and their applications, including cryptocurrencies. Earlier this year, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) – the country’s financial services regulator – published an encouraging information broadsheet to guide companies and startups leveraging blockchain technology. Australia’s primary research organization has already published two extensive research reports on blockchain technology which deemed Australia could not afford to follow others in adopting the innovative decentralized technology.
In April this year, there was the notable revelation of Australia’s central bank studying and even developing blockchain solutions with an ‘internal working group’ tasked toward that purpose.
Earlier this week, Australian adopters of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies finally gained tax-related respite after the government introduced the bill to put an end to the double taxation of digital currencies and their transactions.