He has been only two weeks in the job, but Scott Morrison, Australia’s latest Prime Minister, may just have emerged as the leading advocate of blockchain technologies of any senior politician in the Western world.
Asked by Tim Meyer, CEO of CryptoLabs, whether he believed that DLT technologies had a role to play in terms of easing inefficiencies within the banking sector, Morrison initially replied with a steadfast no.
Let There Be Nerds
“When I was treasurer [Morrison’s prior role in government] I looked a lot at cryptocurrencies,” he stated, “…but what we have now in Australia is a new payments platform which provides 24/7 settlement, the biggest change in our payment rail system seen by Australia for decades,” referring to the country’s new National Payments Platform implemented in February of 2018 and which provides near instantaneous clearing between banks and other payment processors.
However, Morrison then went out to discuss – in decidedly enthusiastic terms – the capabilities offered up by blockchain technology in other realms of banking. “Let me be nerdy for a sec,” he said, “but what is being done with DLT and blockchain is going to open up massive opportunities.”
Referring specifically to upcoming legislation in the Australian parliament pertaining to Consumer Data Rights and Open Banking Reform, the Australian PM indicated that it was in these domains that blockchain technology was “going to transform the Australian banking system,” adding further, ” … but the thing I like about it most is that it is going to deliver much tougher competition for the big banks.”
The short interview, captured on Meyer’s smart phone, can be viewed here. Morrison’s statement represents one of the rare occasions in which a senior politician from a G20 economy – much less one exercising the role of national leader – has positively espoused the potential role of cryptocurrencies in the future economy.
Back in March, French Finance Minister Bruno LeMaire was arguably the first high profile G20 minister to do so, outlining his own vision for a series of economic policies that favoured blockchain technology as part of an overall mission to bring finance “into the 21st century.”