Australia's Blockchain Ecosystem Needs More Support From Regulators, Says Industry Body

Blockchain Australia CEO Steve Vallas believes the country is "well placed" when it comes to blockchain, but financial regulators need to take a more active role.

Feb 15, 2021 at 4:42 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:11 p.m. UTC

Australia's blockchain and cryptocurrency companies need more support from the federal government and regulators to boost the confidence of the country's businesses in the technology, according to Steve Vallas, CEO of advocacy group Blockchain Australia.

Speaking at the Senate Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology on Thursday, Vallas said that Australia has a blockchain "base" from which it can accelerate development and that his organization is now "signaling" that the technology is something people "should be investing in."

Vallas pointed to Australia's lack of blockchain innovation during the last few years. Although he noted that it hadn't harmed the country's cryptocurrency ecosystem, he said, "I think we need more signals from regulators ... that they're willing to discuss this subject matter with people who are well versed in it."

The Senate Committee is assessing the potential for blockchain technology in a commercial and government setting following the country's National Blockchain Roadmap launch in February last year, when the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources set a goal of trying to get businesses to take more advantage of blockchain technology.

Vallas said some financial authorities in Europe, the U.K. and the U.S. are providing more guidance to businesses looking to use or promote blockchain and digital assets, particularly within the banking sector.

While regulators such as the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency are saying to banks they can custody crypto assets and should be banking cryptocurrency companies, "Those signals are largely absent from the Australian market," he said.

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