On Tuesday, August 8, 2017, Australian senators Sam Dastyari and Jane Hume officially began the Parliamentary Friends of Blockchain group. A bipartisan initiative (Dastyari comes from the Labor Party and Hume from the Liberal Party), the group hopes to encourage the usage of blockchain technology in government and industry.
According to the Parliament of Australia, “This group will provide a forum for Members and Senators to meet and interact with relevant stakeholders on matters relating to the future of Blockchain.”
Bringing together politicians to focus on blockchain technology is an important step forward for the Australian Parliament. Increasing awareness among governmental leaders might allow the nation to expand its lead as a blockchain trailblazer.
As Senators Dastyari and Hume embrace blockchain technology, major Australian financial institutions have taken heed. At the start of July 2017, the Australian government eliminated double taxation of digital currencies and the country’s securities exchange is currently developing blockchain technology for implementation in the Australian equities market. Senators Dastyari and Hume have also enjoined the Reserve Bank of Australia to invest in blockchain development.
For widespread adoption to become a reality, blockchain technology cannot remain isolated in the financial world. Political discourse regarding blockchain may allow Australia to forge ahead of policy matters that stall innovation. From providing funding to approving studies, government often holds the keys to the next wave of innovation.
Australia’s parliament has seized this opportunity and the government has been proactive in its approach. Many countries would be wise to learn from Australia’s example.