Blockchain Australia, the industry body representing local businesses and individuals participating in the technology, has again called on the government and regulators to provide more support for the local blockchain ecosystem.
Its CEO Steve Vallas told the Senate Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology, which is currently in its second round of reviewing the potential of fintech and regtech down under, that the federal government is the “cornerstone of confidence creation in this sector”.
Vallas believes Australia is “well placed” to become a tech-savvy economy, specifically in the blockchain space. But something that has hurt the nation, he said, is the lack of progress in the space in recent years.
He said the National Blockchain Roadmap , which was announced in February last year, was the first of many steps and that he has “enormously confidence in the ecosystem”. But he noted that more needed to be done to support blockchain.
“We are signalling, across the country and to the states, that this is something that people should be investing in,” he said. “That sort of approach needs to be coordinated across other government departments.
“I think we need more signals from regulators in particular that they’re willing to discuss this subject matter with people who are well versed in it.”
He’s concerned that governments internationally, by comparison, have been signalling more strongly to businesses and the banking sector that they should be banking crypto-businesses and encouraging the use of the technology, as some examples.
“Those things, collectively, say: ‘Business, you should be paying attention to this; you should be investigating it.’ Those signals are largely absent from the Australian market,” Vallas said.
He said there’s trepidation with banks and regulators in Australia. Despite this, Vallas believes there’s an opportunity to implement policies that prioritise blockchain technology, as well as investment into digital assets and cryptocurrencies.
“People are happy to talk about blockchain if they decouple from financial services and the impact on the financial services industry and regtech. That decoupling isn’t necessary,” he said.
“I think there should be active consultation there.”
See also: Blockchain: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
Discussing Australia not being an attractive destination for blockchain development, Vallas said: “No one wants to land here”.
“I think everyone knows that we have a very good regulatory framework, but the sign doesn’t say ‘Open for business’ with respect to this technology, so, when we look at some of the custodian businesses and the like that are taking shape in the United States, they’re not naturally coming to Australia because no one is saying that this is a welcoming environment and you can trust our regulatory framework and we’re open to a conversation about what these businesses could do in Australia,” he said.
Appearing alongside Vallas were three academic economists and lawyers affiliated with the RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub in Melbourne. Appearing in a personal capacity, the trio outlined their position that “ongoing regulatory possibilities of blockchain innovations are critical”.
Dr Darcy Allen said the group’s interactions with industry partners suggest some current challenges in Australia, such as the taxation system, the potential treatment of blockchain and decentralised finance, and products as managed investment schemes, some of these issues relating to initial coin offerings (ICOs).
Another challenge, he said, was whether blockchain-based records would be accessible by Australian regulators.
“Our recommendation is that governments aid the transition to a digital economy by using and improving regulatory reform tools, such as sandboxes, to facilitate the process of regulatory evolution,” he said.
MORE ON BLOCKCHAIN IN AUSTRALIA
- Blockchain Australia asks for ‘nimble’ regulatory regime to help local DLT industry
- Department of Industry stands up Australian Public Service Blockchain Network
- We’re not flying to Mars: ASX on using distributed ledger for new CHESS system
- Australian Senator calls for blockchain adoption to lift financial regulatory compliance
- Reserve Bank calls in big banks for Aussie blockchain-based digital currency project
- University of South Australia says blockchain at odds with privacy obligations
- Great Point Launches Covid Insurance Scheme; UK Cinema Org Calls For More Government Support — UK Briefs
- From mobile money to blockchain: How this UN agency's tech stops people starving
- 'This is the Whitsundays not Wuhan': Calls to 'come down hard' on developer behind $20million Chinese takeover of resort island where locals have been banned
- Government yet to take call on China's entry into 5G; penetration in existing network extensive: Union home secretary
- The FTC cracks down on tech support scammers
- Ashton Kutcher urges EU to allow tech giants to keep tracking online child abuse
- Malleswaram Mirror Special: Experiments with tech
- Vietnam develops digital government on open technology
- President Trump Blasts Senate GOP Over Big Tech and Section 230: ‘All Talk and No Action’
- Petition Calls for FBI to Investigate Active Pedophile Forum Where Members Openly Discuss Child Abuse
- Independent shops urge government to use £2billion of Covid refund cash returned by major supermarkets to support struggling retailers
- Government approves setting up of public Wi-Fi networks through PM-WANI to push broadband proliferation
- Developer faces prison time for giving blockchain talk in North Korea
- Dark new theory emerges as strange new detail is spotted in China's fake photo of an Aussie soldier and Afghan child - as Beijing fires back at 'roaring and raging' Scott Morrison for 'overreacting'
- The Queen is embroiled in SAS medals row as veterans accuse the government of planning to punish 3,000 soldiers long before the 'war crimes' report
- Steam suspends Bitcoin support due to high fees
- Farmers fight back: Calls for Australia to stage a 'formal protest' against Beijing after another round of crippling trade tariffs in petulant payback over covid inquiry - as Penfolds faces massive profit plunge
- Prudence Foundation Launches Second Edition of SAFE STEPS D-Tech Awards to Find Life-Saving Technologies for Disaster Resilience
- Big Tech’s toughest critic in Washington just might be this freshman GOP senator from Missouri
- Masan High-Tech Materials helps farmers adopt VietGAP tea farming models
Aussie blockchain community calls for more government support around the nascent tech have 985 words, post on www.zdnet.com at February 15, 2021. This is cached page on TechNews. If you want remove this page, please contact us.