According to reports, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is being pitched by three fintech startups, who want the government to launch a Digital Australia Dollar (DAD) cryptocurrency.
The startups – FlashFX, AgriDigital and Othera, approached FinTech Australia, an industry body and the government’s FinTech Advisory group with the proposal, in a bid to push the RBA towards a state-issued digital currency.
Speaking on the matter, Danielle Szetho, the Chief Executive of FinTech Australia, said:
"The Digital Australian Dollar would be a huge step to grow our vibrant blockchain and digital currencies industry. Having key stakeholders like the RBA involved in further explorations of an Australian digital currency will help build trust and usage of cryptocurrencies, but at the same time will ensure we do not undermine Australia's currency stability and sound monetary policy.”
Interestingly, last month we also saw a report from Japan, regarding the creation of the J-Coin, which would be exchangeable with the Japenese Yen, and this week we got a major news from Russia about the CryptoRuble.
Nicolas Steiger, the Chief Enabling Officer of FlashFX, one of the startups pushing the proposal, also backed the creation of the DAD in order to prevent unofficial currencies from popping up.
"A government-endorsed digital Australian dollar has the potential to lead to increased trust and certainty, particularly to grow the digital currency marketplace. It would also stop multiple private parties creating a confusing array of 'Australian dollars' with no official backing."
Earlier this year, Australia also become one of the few countries to remove double taxes from cryptocurrencies, a welcome move announced by Treasure Scott Morrison in May. Before that, cryptocurrency users would first pay tax on the purchase of crypto and then again when they spent it.
Emma Weston, co-founder of AgriDigital, also commended on the efficacy of the Digital Australian Dollar in enabling real-time payments:
"A centrally issued Digital Australian Dollar, backed by fiat [physical] currency, would enable payments to be made between participants in real time and 24/7 along the supply chain. It would also put the Australian agricultural technology industry in a strong and globally competitive position."
It appears that countries are quickly moving towards stated-issued cryptocurrencies in order to cement their place in the upcoming digital currency revolution. While this is great for blockchain technology, there are others, like JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, who believe existing cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, will suffer as governments isolate them with their own inventions.