Blockchain is likely to be one of the most influential technologies for fintech, a sector heavily regulated, so getting involved early seems like a smart move for governments to make.
Blockchain as a word may be at the trough of disillusionment stage of the hype cycle, but many of the technologies powered by blockchain are still seeing a lot of interest and investment.
To that end, the Australian government has released a roadmap for blockchain. In it, the government pledges to formalize an advisory committee, establish a collaborative model with industry and research sectors, investigate use cases, and learn from other pro-blockchain countries.
In the 52-page paper, the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews, makes clear the government’s intention to be an advocate and backer of all types of blockchain projects.
“Together, we can drive the long-term development and adoption of blockchain technology, and capitalize on the tremendous economic and social opportunities it offers,” said Andrews.
Most blockchain projects in Australia are currently to do with financial and insurance services, which matches the global interest in blockchain. Banks and insurance firms see blockchain as a potential way to improve transparency and accuracy.
Professional, scientific and technical services are another popular industry for blockchain, accounting for around 20 percent of all blockchain activity in Australia. There is also activity in the retail, healthcare, and real estate sectors. Over 90 percent of blockchain activities are being conducted by small to medium-sized organizations, with under 200 employees.
“There are opportunities across our economy which can be seized and enabled by the use of blockchain technology: to create jobs, to create new economic growth, to save businesses money, and to improve our overall productivity,” said Andrews. “In addition, the combination of blockchain technology with other technologies, and the digital data underpinning blockchains, can add enormous additional economic value.”
Governance and policy oversight are critical for many of the technologies emerging in the next five to ten years. Blockchain is likely to be one of the most influential technologies for fintech, a sector heavily regulated, so getting involved early seems like a smart move for governments to make.