April 2017

PROMOTING BLOCKCHAIN INNOVATION IN AUSTRALIA

In This Edition

- CEO's MESSAGE: Blockchain Innovation - Time for the Australian States to Step Up?

- International Standards Organisation Blockchain Technical Committee Kick-Off
 
- Regulatory Certainty Unleashes Blockchain Innovation in Japan
 
- Australia-China FinTech Mission

- Blockchain for Finance Conference: Singapore, June 20-21

- NZ Blockchain Conference: Auckland, May 8 - 11
 
- Australian Delegation to Consensus Blockchain Conference in New York
 
- New ADCCA Member: Cuscal
 


Nick Giurietto


CEO's Message

Blockchain Innovation - Time for the Australian States to Step Up?

US-based blockchain innovators often look to Australia with a sense of envy.

The relative strength of the centre compared to the States in our federal system means that many areas for blockchain innovation are a Federal Government responsibility. The opposite is often true in the US, with State governments having an important regulatory role.

This matters.  In practical terms, an Australia-based blockchain innovator may need to work with only 1 or 2 Federal regulators whereas their peer in the US may need to face 50 or more!

This competitive advantage in efficiency of regulatory oversight is one that Australia needs to make the most of.

But what of our States?  What role do they have to play in driving blockchain innovation and why should they bother?

The first reason is simple.  Facing ever-increasing demand on their frontline service delivery functions and continuing revenue pressure, blockchain innovation offers one of the few viable strategies to improve both the efficiency and quality of state government service delivery.

Healthcare is just one area of opportunity.  Real blockchain solutions are being built now that simplify patient and practitioner identification, medical records and patient outcome monitoring and streamlined payments and reconciliation. Lower back office costs in medical administration allow limited funds to be prioritised for medical care.

Similar opportunities exist in education, licensing and qualifications, land titles and property rights and certifications, pollution permits and monitoring, vehicle registrations, insurance and tolling as well as public archives and records management.  This list goes on.

But if the reward of more efficient service delivery with better outcomes is not enough, the second reason for the States to actively promote blockchain innovation is the opportunity to create new business and employment hubs.

Blockchain based innovation will transform the public service delivery sector.  The key question for the Australian states is whether they will become consumers of solutions developed elsewhere or be leaders in creating new industries, jobs and export opportunities.

Nicholas Giurietto
CEO and Managing Director
ADCCA

   

Standards Australia hosts kick-off meeting of ISO Blockchain & Distributed Ledger Technical Committee



 

Standards Australia  hosted the kick off meeting of the International Standards Organisation Technical Committee on Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies in Sydney on 3 to 5 April.

Almost 100 delegates from over 20 countries participated in the meeting which was ably chaired by Australia's Craig Dunn. ADCCA CEO, Nicholas Giurietto, was a member of the Australian delegation which was headed up by Liming Zhu of Data61.

The delegations from around the world reflected both the geographic as well as industry scope of the expected impact of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies.  One thing that all agreed upon is that blockchain innovation is necessarily global in scope and requires collaboration not only across industries but across borders.

Importantly, there was strong recognition of the role that standards can play in advancing innovation in the sector through common definitions, core building blocks for new systems and enabling inter-operability but also a determination to ensure that standards setting does not proceed too rapidly and risk becoming an impediment.

The initial meeting concluded with the establishment of 7 working committees:

1. Terminology & taxonomy
2. Reference architecture and ontology
3. Interoperability
4. Security and privacy
5. Identity
6. Governance
7. Smart contracts

The working groups will report their progress at the next meeting to be held in Tokyo in November.

Digital Currency Innovation in Japan
Regulatory Certainty Unleashes New Business Opportunities


April 1st  saw the implementation of new Japanese legislation that gives official sanction to the use of digital currencies as a method of payment.  The new rules require digital currency exchanges be registered and to adhere to strict standards for consumer protection and AML/CTF processes. Japan has also exempted digital currency transactions from consumption tax.


Digital currency payments planned for 260,000 Japanese retail stores within months.






Within days of the new rules taking effect, the benefits of regulatory certainty for an emerging industry sector have started to become clear.

Several news articles report that  Japanese camera retailer Bic Camera has partnered with BitFinex to pilot the use of bitcoin for payments in 2 stores with a plan to roll out across their network. Meanwhile, Point-of-Sale payments provider Airregi is working with Coincheck to rollout digital currency payments across their network of 260,000 retail stores.

Very similar regulatory plans are underway in Australia.  Treasurer Morrison announced the planned removal of GST from digital currency transactions in the Fintech Statement of April 2016.  And the Attorney-General's Department is working on a review of Australia's AML/CTF laws that includes the formal regulation of the digital currency sector.

Both of these are moves that have long been supported by ADCCA and we have been actively involved with both initiatives.

The lesson from Japan is that bringing regulatory certainty to an emerging sector is a worthwhile endeavour.  The pay off is new business models, more efficient processes and new business opportunities.

Australia should renew efforts to complete similar regulatory reforms as rapidly as possible.




Australia-China FinTech Mission Opens Blockchain Opportunities

ADCCA Chairman Ron Tucker, led a delegation with Austrade to feature Australia's blockchain capabilities during the Australia-China FinTech Mission to Shenzen and Shanghai in March.  Three ADCCA members - BlueChip Vision, Digital X and Bit Trade Australia - joined the mission which saw meetings with over 70 Chinese FinTech and Blockchain firms.

 
 Ron Tucker, ADCCA Founder and Chairman participates in a China FinTech Mission panel discussion.

Bilateral Blockchain Innovation opportunities featured heavily in the discussions with many Chinese firms having strong development capabilities and advanced proof of concept solutions and seeking partners in Australia.  Meanwhile, opportunities for Australian firms in China often build upon RegTech capabilities.

During the visit, it was also announced by IBM, (a member of ADCCA), at the Interconnect Conference to more than 20,000 developers, that a major deployment of two commercial grade Blockchain applications was underway.

One of those is a blockchain identity solution built with SecureKey, in which it will power a public-private partnership that saw six Canadian banks invest $27m. In addition, it was revealed that a Chinese energy company is using the IBM Blockchain to create an exchange for trading carbon credits.

Discussions with multiple industry players in China during the FinTech mission have laid the groundwork for closer co-operation over the coming months between China and Australia through ADCCA.



SPECIAL OFFER FOR ADCCA SUBSCRIBERS

Blockchain for Finance
Singapore, June 20 - 21, 2017


Commercialisation  of blockchain concepts is the key theme for the finance industry in 2017. Just how do successful POC's turn in to real solutions that help reduce costs, simplify reporting, reduce fraud and enhance the customer experience?

These are the questions that will be addressed at the Blockchain for Finance Conference
to be held in Singapore on June 20 and 21.

Highlights include:
 
  • Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, China Construction Bank, Mizuho & OCBC Bank will set out their blockchain strategies helping you to understand the capability of this technology
  • The Monetary Authority of Singapore will review the Intellectual Property challenge and how the recent influx of patent filings may impact the wider financial services sector
  • Tackle the unknowns and business challenges associated with blockchain/DLT adoption with input from R3 to ensure all trepidations with this technology are properly addressed
  • Hear how Manulife, AIA & Allianz see blockchain playing a vital role in insurance and how a decentralised approach could help improve security and trust
 
PLUS hear from BNY Mellon, Deutsche Bank, Nordea Bank, Japan Exchange Group, Metaverse, Astri, Standards Australia and ACCESS to improve your blockchain strategy. 

Review the conference brochure here.

ADCCA subscribers receive a  10% discount on all delegate passes.  Please use the discount code ADCCA10 when booking your place.




SPECIAL OFFER FOR ADCCA SUBSCRIBERS

Blockchain NZ
Auckland, May 8-11 2017


ADCCA  has partnered with the NZ Blockchain Association to make it easier for Australian ADCCA subscribers to attend the upcoming Blockchain NZ Conference.

Blockchain NZ will run in Auckland from May 8 to 11 and will include at least 20 international thought leaders on blockchain including Vitalik Buterim of Ethereum and blockchain author and entrepreneur Andreas Antonopolous.

Contact contact@adcca.org.au to find out how to access a 10% discount off ticketed prices.










Australian Trade Mission to Consensus Blockchain Conference in New York

ADCCA and Austrade have partnered to lead an Australian Trade Mission to the Consensus Blockchain Conference to be held in New York from May 22 to 24.

The Consensus Conference is the largest blockchain conference in the world with almost 2000 delegates in attendance.

The Australian Trade Mission will comprise representatives from all sectors of the blockchain community in Australia from entrepreneurial startups to corporate innovators along with regulators.

Australian startups will have the opportunity to benefit from business matching opportunities and a chance to pitch their solutions to a global audience of potential technology partners, financiers and customers.

To learn more about participating in the Australian Trade Mission click here.



NEW ADCCA MEMBER

ADDCA welcomes another new member this month: Cuscal Ltd.


Cuscal is Australia's leading independent provider of payment solutions including card and acquiring products, mobile payments, fraud prevention, EFT switching and direct entry.  Cuscal process 16% of Australia's EFT transactions and have over 7 million cards under management.

 
ADCCA Membership Inquiries

Please click on here to inquire about becoming a member of the ADCCA
 
Copyright © 2017 | ADCCA | All rights reserved.

Published by the Australian Digital Currency & Commerce Association 
Editor: Nicholas Giurietto
Publisher: Ronald M. Tucker


The ADCCA Industry Newsletter reaches a regular audience of over 1500+ Industry and Government Leaders, domestically and abroad. This reach includes regulators, parliamentarians, enterprise C-Level executives as well as cross-industry stakeholder participants both at the professional association and emerging FinTech business levels. To learn more about ADCCA or enquire as to Membership opportunities, please contact us via the below:

Our mailing address is:
The ADCCA
PO Box 21122 World Square
Sydney NSW 2002
AUSTRALIA



www.adcca.org.au   |   contact@adcca.org.au