Australian MP says the country needs blockchain ‘more than ever’

Blockchain Technology Could Boost Australian Economy by $60 Billion, Says Politician Andrew Charlton

Australian politician Andrew Charlton addressed a gathering of digital asset executives on Tuesday, emphasizing the transformative potential of blockchain technology. Speaking at Australia’s Blockchain Week 2024 in Sydney, Charlton stated that blockchain could contribute $60 billion to the economy and help reverse three decades of sluggish productivity growth.

Current State of Productivity Growth

In the 2000s, Australia’s productivity growth was a “reasonably healthy” 2.1%, but it has since declined, failing to support necessary increases in living standards. Charlton highlighted that labor productivity grew by only 0.9% in the final quarter of 2023, according to the Australian Productivity Commission. He argued that without productivity growth, sustained improvements in wages and living standards are unattainable.

The Role of Blockchain

Charlton, recognized as a pro-crypto politician, compared the potential impact of blockchain to that of air travel, automobiles, silicon chips, and the internet. He stressed blockchain’s unique ability to enhance not only its own industry but also various other sectors. For instance, it could revolutionize healthcare record management, tax collection, real estate transactions, voting systems, and supply chain transparency. Additionally, blockchain could streamline financial transactions by reducing intermediaries and transaction times.

“With the right settings and regulations, the digital assets sector could add up to $60 billion per year to the Australian economy,” Charlton asserted.

Call for Regulatory Action

Despite the promising potential of blockchain, Charlton expressed dissatisfaction with the Australian government’s slow progress in establishing digital asset regulations. He urged for a regulatory framework that would allow Australian businesses to hold digital assets similarly to traditional assets.

“We have the strength to be a leader in responsible digital asset innovation, but the truth is, at the moment, we’re not capturing this opportunity,” Charlton said. He noted that regions such as Singapore, Europe, Hong Kong, and the UAE are leading in implementing legislation to promote digital asset innovation in financial services.

Addressing the Tech Skills Shortage

Charlton also highlighted Australia’s tech skills shortage, which has hindered the country’s ability to attract digital asset startups. He called for government action to address this issue to ensure Australia can capitalize on the opportunities presented by blockchain technology.

By fostering a conducive regulatory environment and addressing the tech skills gap, Charlton believes Australia can become a global leader in responsible digital asset innovation.


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