In Brief
Australian senators have created the bipartisan Parliamentary Friends of Blockchain group to encourage the country's Reserve Bank to adopt Bitcoin and consider creating its own cryptocurrency. The nation is following an emerging global trend in support of blockchain-based finance systems, which are faster and more secure than traditional ones.

Despite Bitcoin’s recent complications, a group of lawmakers from Australia’s center and left-leaning political parties are strongly encouraging the country’s Reserve Bank to officially recognize the cryptocurrency and perhaps even create its own cryptocoin. They’ve created a group called Parliamentary Friends of Blockchain to push this initiative, which they believe will secure the future stability and competitiveness of Australia’s financial services industry.

“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,” Labor senator Sam Dastyari told The Sydney Morning Herald. Dastyari and Liberal senator Jane Hume are the lawmakers leading the effort.

Blockchain, the technology upon which Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are built, is a decentralized digital ledger that is both more transparent and more secure than most traditional financial systems.

As Australian Digital Currency Commerce Association chairman Ronald Tucker explained to The Sydney Morning Herald, a crypto backed by the federal government would eliminate settlement times, as well as foreign currency exchanges. “It would be an auditor’s dream because you’ll be able to see any transaction that moves on it,” he added.

It’s no surprise, therefore, that a number of nations are adopting this new system of currency. China is the first country to test a national cryptocurrency, and it has plans in the works to release its own version of Bitcoin. Meanwhile, more than 260,000 stores in Japan have begun accepting Bitcoin payments, with three of the nation’s largest banks backing a Bitcoin exchange.

Australia is already showing signs that it hopes to get in on the trend while it’s still emerging, and the Parliamentary Friends of Blockchain group should help push things along.


Disclosure: Several members of the Futurism team, including the editors of this piece, are personal investors in a number of cryptocurrency markets. Their personal investment perspectives have no impact on editorial content.