Category Archives: Australia’s Digital Transformation Agency

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Australia Post Ventures Into Crypto With New Service

The postal service Down Under, Australia Post, is enabling customers to easily access crypto exchanges through a new platform called Digital iD.

The platform has been created by Australia Post as an answer to concerns about the lengthy processes of accessing crypto exchanges for the first time. The Digital iD platform enables users to dispense with private documents such as drivers’ licenses and passports for initial verification, which often results in anything up to a ten-day wait for new users.

The platform was christened by Brisbane-based crypto exchange, Digital Surge, with customers registering through Digital iD for the first time. Director, Josh Lehman, commented that the Australia Post platform was offering a much more efficient user experience and was speeding up the registration process.

Digital iD’s general manager Cameron Gough pointed out that Australia Post was simply improving on its service to its many customers, enabling a far more efficient way of sharing information with organizations and companies. He pointed out that as with using a driver’s license to enter a club or buy alcohol, simply the name and date of birth of the user should be all that’s required.

Lehman suggested that Digital Surge also has additional systems enabling instant verification of new customers. Users can now buy their cryptocurrencies instantly without recourse to providing extra personal information.

Australia has become a leader in integrating cryptocurrencies into everyday use where possible, with two companies Gobbill and exchange Cointree, recently combining to allow Australians to pay utility bills in crypto. Despite the results of a highly expensive report just released by Australia’s Digital Transformation Agency citing that blockchain was being over-hyped by vendors, it appears that the new prime minister is firmly behind new technology. Scott Morrison recently stated that the contributions of distributed ledger technology (DLT) in the financial sector have, and will, create “massive opportunities.”

Cryptocurrency investors may be heartened at the arrival of a new PM in Canberra, who as treasurer in 2016, had a hand in removing the hated double taxation on crypto assets.

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Vendors Pushing Blockchain, Says Australia’s Digital Transformation Agency

Australia’s Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) has been revising its position on blockchain technology after the Australian government ordered an inquiry into its uses earlier this year.

The basis of the DTA research funded by the Federal Government to the tune of AUD 700,000 (USD 530,000) was to research blockchain, and see how it could be used to improve government services, including welfare payments. The investigation was ordered by Australia’s former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull before he was overturned last month.

Originally, social security and welfare payments by Centrelink were targeted for an overhaul, perhaps by using DLT. The DTA felt at the time that there were significant advantages of delivering social security welfare to citizens over a blockchain. Centrelink, part of the Department of Health Services (DHS), is responsible for a range of payments, particularly those relating to unemployment, pensions, and health.

It appears after the investigation, the government is less likely to be ready for taking the next move, which would see blockchain utilized among a range of government department services. At a recent Senate estimates hearing, DTA chief digital officer Peter Alexander said:

“It’s an interesting technology but it’s early on in the development. It’s at the top of a hype cycle. A lot of the engagement [with the agencies] is comparing blockchain against existing technologies… without standardization and a lot more work, for every use of blockchain that you would consider today there is a better technology.”

Alexander claimed that blockchain promotion lay at the feet of vendors who had been pushing the technology rather than central governments and users and deliverers of blockchain services.

It appears that the Australian stock market is more impressed than the government with DLT after the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) stated earlier this year that it has plans to replace its current clearing and settlement system with a DLT model within the next two years.

The current system, the Clearing House Electronic Subregister System (CHESS) which has been used by ASX since the 1990s, will be replaced with blockchain technology possibly in 2020.

 

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