Australian senator says DeFi ‘won’t go away anytime soon’

Senator Jane Hume said decentralized finance (DeFi) “presents enormous opportunities” for Australia to strengthen its place as “a forerunner in innovation and economic progress”.

Senator Hume was talking at the Australian Financial Review Super & Wealth Summit in Sydney on Monday 22 November. She is Australia’s Minister for Women’s Economic Security, representing the Liberal Party and the State of Victoria. The main focus of the conference was on super and government retirement funds – notoriously slow and steady investments. The comments on DeFi are more notable in this regard.

Senator Hume called on industry and government to recognize that DeFi is “not a fad” and to “move forward with caution, but not with fear” because the technology “is not going away anytime soon.”

“If the last 20 or 30 years have taught us anything, it’s that all innovation starts as a disruption and ends as a household name,” she said. She also referred to the fast-paced nature of the industry:

“Decentralized finance backed by blockchain technology will present incredible opportunities – Australia should not be left behind by fear of the unknown. “

Speaking on the policy, she noted that Australia’s economic future will be shaped by “innovation” and “adoption of technology” as the country continues to recover from the financial toll of the pandemic of COVID-19.

She also praised industry players for “embracing innovation and developments in this space”, particularly around blockchain technology, with specific reference to the Commonwealth Bank.

On November 3, the bank announced that it would allow 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 the few banks in the world – to offer customers this kind of access,” she said.

Related: Average Australian Crypto Portfolio Grows 258% in FY20-21, Survey Finds

According to Finder’s Crypto Survey of 27,400 respondents, 17% of Australians invest in cryptocurrency. However, the country’s adoption of crypto has come under increasing pressure from lawmakers and regulators.

Last month, the Senate committee of pro-crypto NSW Senator Andrew Bragg released its “Cryptocurrency Report,” which made 12 recommendations designed to address key issues in the cryptocurrency industry.

Bragg said the recommendations will allow Australia to compete with major jurisdictions for the blockchain and crypto industries, including Singapore, the United States and the United Kingdom.

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