A newly published assessment of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s take on the current financial system has revealed multiple endeavors by the central bank to study and develop blockchain solutions.
The Reserve Bank of Australia’s report [PDF] on new developments on financial infrastructure has notably pointed to the establishment of a previously unknown ‘internal working group’ to consider the implications of blockchain technology.
The Australian government has been pushing a FinTech-friendly agenda to encourage industry firms and startups to develop solutions in the country. The central bank underlined blockchain technology as an aspect of FinTech that “has been examined closely”. Australia’s national standards authority is also leading the global ISO effort to develop international blockchain standards, unveiling a roadmap earlier this year.
Published as a part of its Financial Stability Review, the central bank revealed:
The Bank is participating in a working group of the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures examining DLT (Distributed Ledger or Blockchain Tech) and its implications.
Few other details of the internal working group are known at this time.
Over a year ago, RBA’s payments policy department chief Tony Richards confirmed that the bank was keeping an eye on developments in the digital currency space, effectively hinting at a possible national digital dollar in the future.
“The Bank will be interested to see what proves to be possible and what proves to be problematic, as countries consider going down the path of digital currency issuance,” Richards said at the time, referencing efforts in England, Canada and most notably, China.
In late 2016, an Australian government paper by the country’s accounting standards board underlined the need for new financial reporting standards for digital currencies like bitcoin, deeming the cryptocurrency a ‘material enough phenomenon’ for new tax standards.
More recently, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), the country’s financial services regulator issued an information broadsheet on blockchain technology as it ponders a regulatory framework for the innovation. The broadsheet is fundamentally a short questionnaire for companies and startups in Australia who are considering the adoption of blockchain tech.