Senator Jane Hume has stated that decentralized finance (DeFi) “presents huge opportunities” for Australia to cement its place as a “front-runner for innovation and economic progress.”
Senator Hume spoke at the Australian Financial Review Super & Wealth Summit in Sydney on Monday, Nov. 22. She is the Minister for Women’s Economic Security of Australia, representing the Liberal Party and the state of Victoria. The conference was primarily about super and government retirement funds — both notoriously slow and steady investments. The comments on DeFi are more notable in this regard.
Senator Hume called for industry and government to acknowledge that DeFi is “not a fad,” and to “tread cautiously, but not fearfully” because the technology is “not going away any time soon.”
“If the last 20 or 30 years have taught us anything, it’s that all innovation begins as disruption and ends as a household name,” she said. She also referenced the fast-paced nature of the industry:
“Decentralized finance underpinned by blockchain technology will present incredible opportunities ‑ Australia mustn’t be left behind by fear of the unknown.”
Speaking on policy, she noted that Australia’s economic future will be defined by “innovation” and “uptake of technology” as the country continues to recover from the financial toll of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She also commended industry players for “embracing innovation and developments in this space,” particularly around blockchain technology, making specific reference to Commonwealth Bank.
On Nov. 3, the bank announced it will allow the 6.5 million users of its banking app to trade 10 crypto assets including Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.
“This will make CBA the first Australian bank — and one of just a handful of banks worldwide — to offer customers this sort of access,” she said.
Related: Average Aussie crypto portfolio grew 258% in FY 20–21, survey reveals
According to Finder’s Crypto Survey of 27,400 respondents, 17% of Australians invest in cryptocurrency. However, the country’s uptake of crypto has seen increasing pressure from lawmakers and regulatory bodies.
Last month, the senate committee of pro-crypto NSW senator Andrew Bragg published its “crypto report,” which made 12 recommendations intended to tackle key issues pertinent to the cryptocurrency sector.
Bragg said that the recommendations will enable Australia to compete with leading jurisdictions for the blockchain and crypto industries, including Singapore, the United States, and the United Kingdom.