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  • J McGlynn and M Bacina

Steering Committee sets the RegTech ball rolling towards a blockchain powered future

Updated: Oct 16, 2020

While blockchain has yet to cross the line into broad acceptance, in February 2020, the Australian government placed its confidence in the technologys revolutionary potential with its release of the National blockchain roadmap. It begins:

The Australian government believes there are opportunities across the economy that can be seized and enabled by the use of blockchain technology: to create jobs, to create new economic growth, to save businesses money, and to improve our overall productivity.

In light of its aspirations to become a world leader in technology talent, Australia’s focus on blockchain has been growing, using the roadmap to set out a strategy to address its challenges and capitalise on its opportunities across a range of sectors.

The roadmap, focuses on three areas: Regulation and standards; skills, capability, and innovation; and international investment and collaboration. It also showcases a number of businesses applying blockchain, including:

  • agricultural supply chains in the wine sector

  • trusted credentials in the university sector

  • transferable customer checks in the finance sector

The first step towards a block-chain empowered future

With blockchains predicted annual business value of over US$175 billion by 2025, there is no doubt a blockchain-inspired future looks bright to Australia. Comprising 12 steps the government hopes to execute before the end of 2025, the roadmaps first step includes the formalisation of the National Blockchain Roadmap Advisory Committee and renaming it the National Blockchain Roadmap Steering Committee (The steering committee).

The Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is the body that oversees the implementation of the Blockchain Roadmap.

Acting in an advisory capacity, the committee brings together representatives and experts from government, academia and industry to provide support, guidance and oversight of Australia's progress towards realising its 2025 goal.

Four working groups have been announced to support the committee to:

  • explore the current state of identified use cases,

  • provide advice on what support , and economic opportunities they present and

  • identify technical, regulatory or other barriers to adopting blockchain.

The groups are:

  • The Supply Chains Working Group (established August 2020) which will investigate the potential for blockchain technology to support trusted supply chains, with an initial focus on the agriculture sector.

  • The Credentialing Working Group (established August 2020) which will investigate using blockchain to support credentialing in the education sector.

  • The Cybersecurity Working Group (established October 2020) which will investigate the potential for blockchain technology to bolster cybersecurity and;

  • The RegTech Working Group (established October 2020) which will investigate the potential for blockchain technology to help businesses in meeting their regulatory compliance obligations in more secure and efficient ways.

According to Digital Economy and Technology Division Head and Steering Committee Chair, Narelle Luchetti the roadmap is a critical step towards realising a blockchain-empowered future for Australia adding:

By recognising the rich opportunities that exist to leverage blockchain across our economy, these collaborative working groups will play a central role. They will help progress two important use cases for this technology —supply chains and credentialing.

Our own Michael Bacina has been named a key contributor to the RegTech Working Group, following on from his testimony before the Senate Committee inquiry into FinTech and RegTech last year. Michael will be serving alongside a range of well respected and well known blockchain figures identifying RegTech use cases and challenges so that Australia's blockchain future can be unlocked.


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