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Australia releases National Blockchain Roadmap

Fri, 07 Feb 2020, 04:44 am UTC

Australia’s Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources has released the National Blockchain Roadmap, setting out a strategy for governments, industry, and researchers to capitalise on opportunities and address challenges presented by the technology.

The development of the roadmap was announced last March by Karen Andrews, Minister for Industry, Science And Technology, and the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Senator Simon Birmingham.

“Together, we can drive the long-term development and adoption of blockchain technology, and capitalise on the tremendous economic and social opportunities it offers,” said Andrews.

Growth potential

The roadmap highlights the opportunities that blockchain technology can enable across industries – from supply chains and logistics to agriculture; to trusted credentials, to finance and beyond.

“Blockchain technology is predicted to generate an annual business value of over US$175 billion by 2025 and in excess of US$3 trillion by 2030,” the roadmap reads. “The Australian Government is proactively addressing challenges and leveraging opportunities across a range of sectors to make this a reality.”

12 Recommendations

The roadmap set out a strategy for particularly across three areas – regulation and standards; skills, capability and innovation; and international investment and collaboration. It lists 12 key recommendations to progress towards a “blockchain-empowered future”, including:

  • Formalising the National Blockchain Roadmap Advisory Committee and renaming it the National Blockchain Roadmap Steering Committee
  • Establishing working groups of industry, the research sector and government to progress analysis on the next use cases
  • Exploring ways for advancing the three use cases in the roadmap, including completing a full economic analysis of agricultural wine exports and credentialing and investigating a possible pilot project on Know Your Customer (KYC) checks.
  • For the government to establish and coordinate a group of government blockchain users
  • Identifying examples of countries using blockchain to provide efficient government services
  • Working closely with blockchain providers to engage with the Business Research and Innovation Initiative (BRII) program
  • Increasing management capability around digital technologies
  • Developing common frameworks and course content for blockchain qualifications
  • Working with Austrade on a capability development program for Australian blockchain start-ups
  • Working with Austrade to deliver a blockchain focussed inbound investment program
  • Leveraging existing bilateral agreements to consider blockchain pilot projects with other countries
  • Working with relevant government departments to ensure Australian businesses can connect into emerging digital trade infrastructure being developed.

Advisory Committee

Andrews revealed that the roadmap has been developed in collaboration with industry, universities and government, with an Advisory Committee—comprising representatives from each of these sectors.

Blockchain Australia, an industry body representing Australian business engaged in the blockchain space, participated in the Advisory Committee.

“All 12 of the key recommendations of the Roadmap are important but the standout recommendation is to establish a model for collaboration between industry, academia and government on progressing key blockchain use cases,” said Nicholas Giurietto, CEO of Blockchain Australia.

“Experience overseas has shown that an active partnership between these critical economic actors is the most effective way to prioritise opportunities and mobilise collective resources for change.”

Meanwhile, the National Institute for Smart Governance (NISG), a non-profit company incorporated by the Indian government, has published a draft document on the "National Strategy on Blockchain" on Dec. 30. Among other things, the draft has urged the government and the Reserve Bank of India, to come up with a central bank digital currency (CBDC) or a state-backed digital Rupee.

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