Australian lawmakers call on nation’s central bank to back bitcoin

on Aug 8, 2017
Updated: Sep 19, 2019

Australian lawmakers are pushing for bitcoin to be recognised as an official currency, the Sydney Morning Herald has reported.

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According to the report, the effort is spearheaded by Liberal senator Jane Hume and Labor senator Sam Dastyari and comes amid a broader call for the government to better accommodate blockchain technology. The senators argue that Australia risks the future of its financial services sector if it doesn’t pursue the wider adoption of the digital currency and its underlying technology, the blockchain. In order to advance the issue, the pair has formed a group, called Parliamentary Friends of Blockchain.

Some of the proponents of bitcoin in Australia point to growing importance of bitcoin on the global financial markets. According to the chairman of the Australian Digital Currency Commerce Association, Ronald Tucker, a cryptocurrency backed by the Australian government will eliminate settlement times and foreign currency exchanges.

“It would be an auditor’s dream because you’ll be able to see any transaction that moves on it,” Tucker said, as quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald.

Over the past decade, the financial service industry has become the biggest driver of Australia’s economy, but local banks have been reluctant to allow new players into the market. In 2015 the country’s largest lenders withdrew banking services to local bitcoin companies and were subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

“This will be a revolutionary leap for the Reserve Bank and for Australian financial institutions, what we want to do here in Parliament is to create the political environment to allow that leap,” Dastyari said, as quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald.


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