Australian Government’s Digital Business Plan Includes $5 Million for Blockchain
The Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, has disclosed that the Federal Government is about to make their largest investment in blockchain technology up till now. A total of $5 million will be provided to two pilot programs in this space. The Digital Business Plan was unveiled this week by the government of Australia, which showed that approximately $574 million had been set aside for it. This also comprises of seven-figure grants that have been set aside for the initiatives of distributed ledger technology (DLT). This plan was announced by Morrison ahead of the Federal Government Budget, which has been scheduled to reveal in the next week.
In this particular plan, approximately $4.95 million have been sectioned off for supporting two pilot programs in the blockchain space. According to Morrison, the purpose of these pilots is to reduce the costs of business compliance. The Prime Minister further elaborated that the plan was aimed at supporting the economy of the country, which it would do by eliminating any regulatory barriers that have become outdated. Along with this, he also shed some light on how the plan promotes technological development in the Australian economy, along with improving the overall situation and capabilities of small businesses.
The importance of the two blockchain projects was highlighted by Michal Bacina, a partner of Piper Aldman. According to him, these two projects could demonstrate and eventually unlock the value that blockchain technology can offer to the country. He also cited the accelerated rate of adoption of this technology all over the world and explained that this investment would come off as a welcome boost to the country’s blockchain industry and local expertise as a whole. As per the plan, around $480 million have been set aside for a range of technological initiatives. In turn, these initiatives could also intersect with the DLT at some point.
This would include a digital identity system that has been given $183 million, along with a single business register that has received funding of $301 million. The latter, in particular, is dedicated to allowing businesses to update, maintain, and also check their business registry data quickly. All of this could be done from a centralized location. Chloe White is the National Blockchain Lead of the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources and she also had a few things to say about this matter. She referred to this funding as a huge win for the blockchain space in Australia and cited that this was the biggest investment made by the Australian government in this sector.
Furthermore, she also added that the National Blockchain Roadmap would be complemented by these pilot programs, which is also driven by working groups. These groups are focused on cybersecurity, credentialing, RegTech, and supply chains. Throughout this year, the Australian government has shown an increasing interest in the DLT, along with blockchain technology and its numerous applications. An interim report published in September by the Select Committee on Regulatory Technology (RegTech) and Financial Technology (FinTech) had more than 50 blockchain citations.