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Feedback from workshops, government, universities and industry stakeholders in 2019

Regulation and standards

The following issues were identified:

  • The identity of participants in blockchain systems, and how to trust participants are who they say they are.
  • The privacy of information on the blockchain, which could potentially be linked to individuals and businesses, and how to balance privacy needs with transparency in open blockchains.
  • The security of blockchain systems, and how to balance security needs with other factors.
  • The provenance and integrity of data on the blockchain, and how effectively it can be used as evidence for regulation and enforcement activities, as well as how information that was found to be incorrect could be erased.
  • The legal standing of smart contracts and the role of each government agency in the development of smart contracts and associated templates.
  • The need for interoperability and common standards to support broader adoption of blockchain.
  • The need for an innovative regulatory system with a focus on opportunities.
  • The challenges of understanding and solving regulatory problems for a rapidly evolving technology.
  • Uncertainty with the regulatory and taxation treatment of Initial Coin Offerings (ICO).

Skills, capability and innovation

The following issues were identified:

  • Uncertainty in anticipating and meeting the demand for skills.
  • Lack of accredited courses and measurable educational standards.
  • Identifying the specific skills required.
  • Improving the blockchain-related literacy and skills of decision-makers.
  • Foster stronger communication amongst businesses and tech companies.
  • Increase Australia’s levels of high-end tech skills.
  • Difficulty attracting and retaining talent.

International investment and collaboration

The following issues were identified:

  • Highly competitive international environment.
  • Setting the right narrative around blockchain.
  • Few totemic projects that highlight Australian blockchain capabilities.
  • Interoperability.
  • Limited incentive for maintaining a local presence.
  • Connecting the right businesses with the right tech solutions.
  • Availability of Venture Capital.
  • Need for improved domestic investment and government incentives in the technology and innovation sector.
  • Appropriate regulatory setting to attract international investment.