Government News

Australia unveils $569 million digital business plan, including blockchain

australia government parliament

Today Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison unveiled an A$800 million ($569m) Digital Business Plan in advance of next week’s government budget. It includes several non-blockchain initiatives that will become important components of future distributed ledger technology (DLT) projects. The plans include a A$256 million ($182m) investment for a digital identity system and A$420 million ($299m) to create a single Business Register.

In terms of blockchain, $6.9 million is earmarked for two blockchain pilots to reduce business compliance costs.

“The Plan supports Australia’s economic recovery by removing out-dated regulatory barriers, boosting the capability of small businesses and backs the uptake of technology across the economy,” said the Prime Minister.

Numerous other fintech initiatives were outlined in the plan, some of which could also filter into blockchain. A few weeks ago, the Select Committee on Financial Technology (FinTech) and Regulatory Technology (RegTech) published an interim report that was positive about blockchain. A fintech lawyer told the committee that the majority if FinTech and RegTech solutions are likely to use DLT within the next ten years.

Eight months ago, the government unveiled Australia’s National Blockchain Roadmap. One of the use cases outlined in the roadmap was sharing Know Your Customer (KYC) between financial institutions. If the bank that performs the customer due diligence makes a mistake, it is not liable. There are provisos such as the organization using another’s KYC needs to vet the KYC process.

Last month the government started work on the roadmap by creating blockchain working groups for supply chain and educational credentialing.