Liberal Australian Sen. Andrew Bragg has argued that integrating blockchain technology into the country’s financial system could have far-reaching positive consequences.
According to a Nov. 4 report by technology news outlet ZDNet, Bragg said that “the future is technology by blockchain” during the Future of Financial Services 2020 virtual conference on Wednesday. He said:
“It may well be the solution to one-touch government with international transactions in real-time. It will eliminate our time zone problem, which has been a problem for Australia over the long run… Blockchain technology can streamline regulatory processes, reduce fraud, and reduce costs to regulatory compliance and administration.”
Furthermore, Bragg suggested that blockchain could help Australia rebuild the confidence and trust towards its financial system after the Hayne Royal Commission’s 2017 inquiry into misconduct in the banking, superannuation, and financial services industry. He also said that it is important for the country to be globally competitive in the financial space, and suggested looking at Hong Kong as a possible market:
“Hong Kong will still be an important gateway to China, but because of the recent turmoil there and the foreign influence laws, they won’t have the same regional headquarter attraction. We would be mad to sit idly by and allow such a lucrative share of the market to lead to Singapore or to Tokyo.”
Bragg’s look at distant overseas markets makes increasingly clear why he believes blockchain technology could help him realize his vision. More and more blockchain and crypto assets are being used to make international remittances both faster—often real-time—and cheaper than traditional alternatives.
The focus on bringing blockchain technology into financial markets is hardly exclusive to Australia. As long ago as March 2018, consulting and auditing giant KPMG suggested in a report that building know-your-customer (KYC) tools on blockchain technology could help financial institutions replace a process that is currently “extremely inefficient, mired with time-consuming and labor-intensive manual processes, duplication of effort and risk of error.” It added, that KYC was also a tiresome, repetitive, and time-consuming process that often frustrates customers.