Greg Medcraft made some very encouraging impromptu comments at the COALA/CBA Blockchain Workshops conference in Sydney on 10 December that are consistent with the renewed push to facilitate technology-led innovation in Australia.
Mr Medcraft indicated that the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is willing to support the modification of Australian law to the extent it can, to encourage innovation like blockchain. He noted that the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (which he chairs), the U.S. Federal Reserve, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the international Financial Stability Board are all moving quickly in looking at blockchain application in securities and other markets.
These comments are part of the increasing tide that is sweeping through the Australian economy that is changing our appetite for technology-led innovation and our conviction to remove the regulatory hurdles to its implementation. Innovation and disruption have become part of our daily speech and are invariably coupled with a focus on enhancing the user experience. Equally important is to ensure that customers are protected from the multiple risks associated with the development and implementation of new technology.
It is encouraging to hear our regulator being so supportive as it takes courage and conviction to understand the new technology, particularly blockchain, and strike the right balance between facilitating such innovation and protecting consumers.