Australian National Blockchain Roadmap — A Road to Big Brother?

  1. Submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission;
  2. Submission to the Australian Treasury on the Cash Ban; and
  3. Medium post on ‘Australian National Blockchain’.
  1. The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission should issue a joint interpretive letter setting out that banks and custodians are able to provide cryptocurrency custody services and also provide banking services to cryptocurrency businesses in Australia. See copy of US Govt letter here.
  2. The potential ban on cryptocurrencies, which is contained in but not YET applied in the Currency (Restrictions on the Use of Cash) Act 2019, should be removed. This potential hangs like an axe over the head of any business that want to use cryptocurrency and therefore any blockchain based application. See my blog post here on this topic.
  3. State and Federal Consumer protection agencies need to get up to speed so they can identify disgusting true crypto scams like OneCoin but recognise that Bitcoin is not a scam and there are many (in fact the most) other crypto businesses that are not scams. The ‘Facebook’ case mentioned above is an example where no distinction is being made between genuine and scam crypto businesses. The Government, via consumer protection agencies, can play a role in making a distinction. Crypto projects should be able to advertise.
  4. The Australian government should form a bipartisan view of the human rights aspects (see Alex Gladstein of the Human Rights Foundation) of private vs public blockchains and it should set out to the public the criteria government departments and services will consider when deciding to use one or the other. Public blockchains offer the opportunity to reduce significantly the need for centralised government maintained ledgers and records. The Government need a philosophical position, will the National Blockchain approach lead to a China type control permissioned blockchain or a Bitcoin type blockchain where there is no centralised party. The mantra for Government blockchain adoption should be ‘use public permissionless blockchain technology in all cases on a ‘if not why not.’ basis.’

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