South Pacific Quickly Becoming Global Hotbed For Blockchain Industry
Blockchain has been transforming people and industries all over the world but no place is a better example of the technology’s transformative power than the South Pacific Ocean. There is an overwhelming sense of optimism as more companies are flocking to the region to develop and launch blockchain companies. Government support and funding is accompanying this news, paving the way for Australia to become a global powerhouse in blockchain over the next decade.
Leading this movement is tech company IBM who is partnering with top-performing blockchain Stellar Lumens to transform the cross-border payment system in the South Pacific Retail Corridor.
Currently, 13 countries and 7 different trade lanes in the region are using what is referred to as the Universal Payment Solution.
Developed in collaboration between IBM, Stellar and KickEx Group, this blockchain-based technology is providing a solution to the expensive, costly bottlenecking caused by the clearing and settlement process for payments. When one vendor has to send money to another vendor, the current process can take days. This blockchain solution will increase the speed of the supply-chain process, allowing vendors to transfer and clears funds in just seconds at a fraction of the penny.
The IBM-Stellar partnership is just one of the many groundbreaking developments in blockchain for Australia and the surrounding region. To match the excitement in private sector blockchain growth, the Australian government is testing how blockchain can be used to improve government services.
In May of 2018, the Australian government announced they will be dedicating $700,000 from the Federal Budget to the Digital Transformation Agency. The agency will be exploring possibilities for how government services can incorporate blockchain.
This is one of several announcements from the Australian government in less than 6 months that shows support of funding for blockchain. Over the next few years, the government will be sinking millions into the blockchain industry. Other recent news showed the Australian government is considering how blockchain can be used to improve trade supply chains, showing some resemblance to the IBM-Stellar partnership mentioned earlier.
Government support in favour of blockchain has struck a buzz with entrepreneurs across the region, giving them more confidence to develop blockchain startups at home instead of exiting to other places like Malta or Switzerland.
Australian-based blockchain startups such as AUSFINEX have experienced tremendous growth by choosing to operate at home, building themselves to offer over 100 coins paired directly with the Australian Dollar and over 300 coins paired with Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Other exchanges and blockchain platforms are following similar patterns, building themselves up at home in Australia further empowering the industry within the region. This will eventually breed competition that will soon be ubiquitous in the Australian blockchain space. This competition will drive further innovation.
In the coming years, Australia should continue emerging as a leader in the blockchain industry. If the continuous government support is accompanied by relaxed legislation, Australia will become a regional and global magnet for the blockchain industry.