Australia Unveils Blockchain Roadmap, Creates $71,000 Fund

Two ministries in the country are working to boost the blockchain industry.

To bolster the blockchain industry in the country, Australia has unveiled a blockchain strategy and roadmap along with a federal corpus of AUD 100,000 (around $71,000).

In a March 18 joint media release by two Australian ministries, the country projected its desire to become a global leader in the nascent blockchain industry by focusing on a number of policy areas including “regulation, skills and capacity building, innovation, investment, and international competitiveness and collaboration.”

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“The national strategy puts us on the front foot in exploring how government and industry can enhance the long-term development of blockchain and its uses,” Karen Andrews, minister for industry, science, and technology, said. “We will work closely with blockchain and technology experts from industry and academia to develop the strategy, as well as with CSIRO’s Data61 to incorporate findings from their forthcoming future scenarios report on blockchain.”

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Andrews further detailed that his department will fund the Australian blockchain projects with AUD 100,000 to join Austrade’s Mission to Consensus in New York in May.

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The Australian government had already invested AUD 700,000 (around $500,000) in the Digital Transformation Agency in 2018–19 to investigate the benefits of using blockchain for government payments, and further AUD 350,000 (almost 250,000) in Standards Australia to lead the development of international blockchain standards through the International Organization for Standardization, according to the press release.

“It is vital Australia and our tech companies stay ahead of the game in one of the world’s fastest growing technology sectors,” Simon Birmingham, Australian minister for trade, tourism, and investment, added.

“Austrade’s upcoming mission will connect Australian blockchain companies and start-ups with investors and customers with a view to expanding their businesses globally. 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.”

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Meanwhile, Australian agencies are also embracing the decade-old technology. Last month, Finance Magnates reported that the country’s financial intelligence agency the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) began testing the blockchain technology to automate fund transfer instructions.

Last year in July, the Australian government and IBM signed a five-year AUD 1 billion ($740 million) deal to improve data security and automation in federal departments using blockchain and other new technologies.

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