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Australia's government is plotting an ambitious new Digital Economy initiative, citing the country's previous work with blockchain and its future potential in a new public consultation call.

The scope of the project is outlined in a new paper published this week by the The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, which also includes a series of questions aimed to spur public debate around digitized businesses and services.

Though none of the questions explicitly mention blockchain, the document highlights the technology in several areas, and signals that the government in Australia sees a prominent role for blockchain in the future.

As the paper explains in one passage:

"The next phase of the internet, where we are always on and always connected, has the potential to transform our economy even further. Horizontal platform technologies like distributed ledger technology (for example, blockchain) and machine learning will support innovation and productivity right across the economy."

Indeed, the government in Australia has gone to some lengths to encourage development around the technology, both for cryptocurrencies as well as broader blockchain applications. Agencies within the government have also produced research studies investigating blockchain, with two in particular being released earlier this summer.

Just this week, officials introduced long-awaited legislation to end Australia's "double tax" on cryptocurrencies, an application of the country's goods-and-services (GST) levies that had long earned the ire of cryptocurrency enthusiasts domestically and abroad.

Parliament building image via Shutterstock

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