‘...I’m from the Government and I'm here to help!...’

Ronald Reagan advised us all that these are the nine most terrifying words in the English language...

It has given me mixed feeling to learn that the Australian Parliament has formed a ‘Parliamentary Friends of Blockchain’ group. These ‘friends groups’ are talkfests formed on an ad hoc basis around issues which are potentially of interest to parliament, they last the term of the Parliament and act as a kind of information gathering and thought leadership group.

It is nice to know that the world of blockchain is gathering interest in Canberra but I think it is a long way before there is any serious action (although sometimes inaction is good) to help with developments. The Sydney Morning Herald headline of ‘Bipartisan push for the Reserve Bank to back Australian bitcoin’ is welcome but is a little ahead of its time and sets up expectations which in my view are overly optimistic at this stage.

Don’t get me wrong, all countries should be adopting this technology as fast as possible, and many are, I am just feeling a bit cynical about the Australian government’s agility and ability to adapt to this type of technological change. In my experience, we can expect years of talk and then a Productivity Commission report and then more than likely clumsy and ideologically driven laws with unintended consequences which become a barrier to development.

I hope I am wrong.

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