Australian Government to Nurture Blockchain Technology With Major Investment

By Landon Manning

The federal government of the Commonwealth of Australia announced this month that it would begin a major initiative to sponsor the development of blockchain technology.

Karen Andrews, Australia’s Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, claimed that $100,000 AUD ($70,900 USD) would be allocated to “nurture a ‘burgeoning’ industry,” according to iTnews.

Also noteworthy is that this announcement came barely a month after the country’s Digital Transformation Agency formally recommended that the government take a more cautious approach to distributed ledger technology adoption, following an inquiry into the matter requested by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Nevertheless, the federal government is proceeding with an investment plan, and the roadmap for development specifically mentions a focus on “regulation, skills and capacity building, innovation, investment and international competitiveness and collaboration,” with the eventual goal of making Australia a global leader in blockchain technology.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) will be partnering with private blockchain company Data61 — which has previously worked with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA).

The CBA has shown a particular interest in blockchain technology on multiple occasions, in addition to its new partnership. In July 2018, for example, it partnered with five domestic and international supply chain companies to track a multi-ton shipment of almonds from Australia to Germany. The potential to improve international supply chains is a common use case for blockchain technology, so it seems natural that a government institution would use this as a possible test ground for distributed ledgers.

Much of the preliminary phase of development on this project will be focused on gathering academic and industry experts to make a roadmap for Australia’s path forward. Much of the $100,000 AUD will be used “to bankroll attendance by Australian companies at Austrade’s third Mission to Consensus in New York in May,” an event that Andrews called “a landmark event for the blockchain industry.”

While there, Australian companies will be able to show off their talents to a diverse range of international users, not to mention investors. Simon Birmingham, the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, stated that this event “will present significant opportunities for Australian tech companies to showcase their products on the world-stage.”

He added, “It is vital Australia and our tech companies stay ahead of the game in one of the world’s fastest growing technology sectors.”

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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