Blockchain delegation heads to New York


By Technology Decisions Staff
Tuesday, 16 May, 2017


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Australia’s blockchain capabilities and technologies will be showcased to global leaders and investors at Consensus 2017 in New York from 22 to 24 May.

A 26-member Australian delegation will be heading to the event to present globally competitive and innovative solutions across the spectrum of industry applications, from digital currencies and payments to agricultural supply chains, smart contracts and identity management.

Consensus 2017, now in its third year, has become a landmark event on the blockchain calendar. The event attracts global professionals from leading industry start-ups, investors, financial institutions, and academic and policy groups who are building the foundations of the blockchain and digital currency economy.

Nicola Watkinson, Austrade’s Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner, USA and Canada, said the mission to Consensus 2017 provides a unique platform to profile Australia as a global leader in the testing and development of blockchain technology and standards, and position Australia as an attractive investment destination.

“New York City is also a hotbed for blockchain technology, management and innovation. From digital currencies to payments, decentralised energy to smart contracts and cloud storage, New York City is a vital research, development and deployment market for disruptive technology,” said Watkinson.

Blockchain technology has attracted increasing global attention due to its ability to disrupt existing business models and processes. This emerging technology has the potential to build trust, reduce cost and accelerate secure transactions across a range of sectors.

By using cryptography, blockchains can allow multiple parties to keep private information private, while remaining publicly auditable, providing a foundation for multiparty trust.

Blockchain technology is also increasingly becoming a viable tool for financial services start-ups and large corporations.

“Australia is well positioned to provide global leadership and has become a pioneer in proof of concept and adoption of blockchain technologies. Australian financial institutions, in particular, stand in a globally competitive position,” Watkinson added.

Just this month, the federal government announced its intent to eliminate Bitcoin double tax in its 2017 Budget. Specifically, it will seek to align the GST treatment of digital currencies such as Bitcoin with regular currencies in a bid to promote the growth of Australia’s FinTech industry.

“Australian corporates are also embracing blockchain technology. All four major Australian banks have blockchain innovation programs that have already delivered successful proofs of concept,” said Nicholas Giurietto, chief executive of the Australian Digital Currency and Commerce Association.

“Commercial deployment of a blockchain-based solution by one or more players in the finance sector is likely within the next 12 months.”

The Australian Stock Exchange is another embracing blockchain technology, evaluating replacement options for its clearing, settlement and asset registration with broader plans to become the first exchange in the world to upgrade to post-trade services using the technology.

Also, Standards Australia is leading the development of International Blockchain Standards as chair and secretariat for the International Organization for Standardization’s technical committee on blockchain and distributed ledger technologies.

“In March this year, Standards Australia released its Roadmap for Blockchain Standards Report which outlined how the organisation will work to deliver measures to support the privacy, security and interoperability of blockchain systems globally,” Standards Australia CEO Dr Bronwyn Evans said.

“It is this stewardship which demonstrates Australia’s global leadership in the world of blockchain and further underpins our participation at Consensus,” added Watkinson.

Consensus 2017 will feature more than 100 speakers and 2000 attendees representing over 800 companies from 35 countries.

The Australian blockchain delegation to Consensus 2017 is an initiative of Austrade, Data61 and the state governments of New South Wales and Victoria, with the support of the Australian Digital Currency and Commerce Association.

Image credit: ©Nito/Dollar Photo Club

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