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  • L Misthos and M Bacina

Blockchain Week Day 1: Memborable Quotes

2023 Blockchain Week festivities continue this week with a successful Day 1 in Sydney. Hosted at the Australian Securities Exchange auditorium, Day 1 was filled with industry leaders, blockchain and financial specialists and an array of talented industry participants.

At Day 1, Ashok Venkateswaran, Mastercard's Blockchain and Digital Asset Lead for the APAC region spoke about Mastercard's focus on digital assets:

our strategy is focused on improving customer experience… in the last 5 years we have had more than 150 patents awarded… our focus areas is enabling digital currency to use our cards to spend crypto currency on our rails. Another strategy is using our card to top up digital wallets.

Trevor Power, the First Assistant Secretary from the Financial System Division arm of the Australian Government Treasury, in speaking on regulation said:

[the Australian Government] are prioritising the regulation of stablecoins which are most cash-like.

And that:

The regulatory challenge for government is supporting innovation and protect consumers with simple regulatory systems. The token mapping consultation shows a path to regulation under time tested rules… stablecoins and lenders and borrowers are similar enough to traditional regulated systems. Intermediaries involving custody, clearing trading and settlement are close to existing systems.

In an interview between the Australian Financial Review's Aaron Patrick and Michael Shaulov, the CEO of Fireblocks, Mr Shaulov discussed the journey of digital asset custody solutions for institutional players:

When you think about the opportunity for the bank… if I’m a customer I have all my assets in the bank, if this extends to a digital wallet … it doesn’t matter what you are holding … banks can capture the range of Web3 value in their offering.

And on the US regulatory issues:

The situation in the US is highly political, in my view that’s the core of it. The SEC is the facilitator of that…. Some of the views the SEC has is such that they aren’t looking for new solutions for new technology

Kate Knight, a Senior Executive in Investment NSW discussed the popularity of blockchain in NSW:

NSW hosts more than half of all blockchain businesses in Australia and our home grown and first… blockchain unicorn, Immutable.

And that the NSW is looking to become more involved in the space:

Blockchain is already driving transformative change…it’s fundamentally changing the way people work and government needs and wants to be part of that change. NSW’s ongoing prosperity will depend on harnessing that growth.

The CEO of Independent Reserve, Adrian Przelozny, is confident that more investment is coming:

It’s becoming more and more obvious the institutions are coming ... [r]egulations will force exchanges to operate at a higher standard

Day 2 is Community Day, with Day 3 covering community in Brisbane, Day 4 running Global interviews online and Friday closing out in Melbourne with a great DAO debate and after party Friday night.

Find out more about Blockchain week here.


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