Australia will crack down on cash freedom while dedicating over half a million dollars to blockchain research in its 2018-19 budget.
Blockchain for Government Services
The budget, which the country’s government unveiled May 8th, apportions $700,000 AUD ($521,000 USD) to the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) to look at how blockchain technology can improve government services.
The budget document reads:
The Government will provide $0.7 million in 2018-19 for the Digital Transformation Agency to investigate areas where blockchain technology could offer the most value for Government services,
The cost of this measure will be met from within the existing resources of the Digital Transformation Agency.
Australia has sought to keep up-to-date on the pace of blockchain expansion in recent years. More recently in November 2017, an energy pilot which utilized the technology saw an $8 million AUD ($5.95 million) cash injection.
War on Cash Intensifies
At the same time, authorities have sought to implement what many see as a war on cash from 2016 onwards.
Amid calls for the country to go cashless as early as 2020, the latest budget sets a $10,000 AUD ($7450) limit on cash transactions, with any higher becoming illegal.
The government document confirms:
The Government will introduce a limit of $10,000 for cash payments made to businesses for goods and services from 1 July 2019. As part of the implementation process, the government will consult on the detail of this measure.
Currently, large undocumented cash payments can be used to avoid tax or to launder money from criminal activity. This measure will require transactions over a threshold to be made through an electronic payment system or cheque.
The action comes courtesy of another government organ, the Black Market Taskforce, but will exempt “transactions with financial institutions or consumer to consumer non-business transactions.”
— Tom Waterhouse (@tomwaterhouse) May 9, 2018
Despite its lack of complete jurisdiction, responses to the cash limit focused on the opportunity for cryptocurrency, with bookmaker William Hill CEO Tom Waterhouse calling it “another tailwind for Bitcoin.”
What do you think about Australia’s budget blockchain provisions? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Twitter/@tomwaterhouse, Pxhere, and Pexels.