The Australian government is sending a 26-member delegation that includes bitcoin exchanges and blockchain startups to New York to participate in Consensus 2017, a prominent industry event.
A 26-member delegation sponsored by the New South Wales Trade & Investment and Trade Victoria, two government trade bodies from their respective states and digital research network Data61 are to showcase Australian capabilities in the bitcoin- and blockchain-spaces in New York next week. The delegation will participate in Consensus 2017, a major industry event that is set to feature over 100 speakers and 2,000 attendees from 800 companies across 35 companies, taking place between 22-24 May.
An announcement from the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), Australia’s trade agency, revealed that the 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.’
Bitcoin companies taking part in the delegation are Global Internet Ventures – a company that operates 3 Australian bitcoin exchanges and bitcoin exchange Coin Loft.
The Austrade-backed delegation also includes Australian blockchain companies Bit Trade, Block8, Blockchain Global, Blockchain Centre, Civic Ledger, DigitalX, Distributed Technologies Institute Pty. Ltd., Pacifix, TBSx3 and Veredictum.
Boutique law firm ODMOB Lawyers and services giants Deloitte, KPMG and PwC among other companies round-up the delegation.
Staking Claim as a Blockchain Leader
The delegation, according to Austrade’s Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner Nicola Watkinson, will lay claim Australia’s role as a global leader for testing and the development of blockchain technology.
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.
The Austrade announcement points to a number of examples to back its claim of Australia being a global leader in blockchain development. Chief among them is the government’s recently reaffirmed promise to end the ‘Bitcoin double tax’, as a part of its 2017 federal budget.
In March 2017, Standards Australia – the nation’s national standards authority – unveiled its roadmap to develop international blockchain standards. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO), commonly seen as the world’s primary standards authority, appointed Australia to lead an international technical committee to develop blockchain standards in September 2016.
Earlier this year, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) trailed the world’s first blockchain bond issuance by a government entity in partnership with the Queensland Treasury.
Meanwhile, the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), could become the world’s first major securities exchange operator to upgrade its post-trade services infrastructure using blockchain technology with trials currently underway.
Nicholas Giurietto, chief executive of the Australian Digital Currency and Commerce Association (also participating and supporting the delegation), claimed Australia would soon see commercial applications of blockchain technology.
Commercial deployment of a blockchain-based solution by one or more players in the finance sector is likely within the next 12 months.
Notably, Australia’s central bank revealed it is studying blockchain technology and its implications in society last month.
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