Digital Finance Cooperative Research Centre officially launches
Financial Services Minister and Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones
The Digital Finance Cooperative Research Centre (DFCRC) has been officially launched.
The 10-year, $180 million program, funded by industry partners, universities and the Australian Government, will seek to develop and investigate emerging digital assets.
The project received a grant of $60 million in June 2021 from the federal government to support its collaborative and long-term research.
Earlier this August the Reserve Bank of Australia and DFCRC partnered to launch a year-long research program into potential benefits arising from a central bank digital currency (CBDC) and what this might look like.
The Minister for Financial Services and Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones opened the DFCRC on Monday with over 100 guests in attendance at the ASX.
Speaking at the event, Jones told the audience the work conducted by the Digital Finance CRC will shape the way Australia trades “over the rest of this century”.
“We are at a pivotal point in the way commerce is conducted,” said Jones.
“The important research role the DFCRC will play could quite literally drive the way commerce is done over the rest of this century.
“It is the mission of the government to ensure that innovation in the financial services market brings together the legal, technical and financial streams that will create challenges to the traditional way (of commerce) to create new possibilities.”
Jones added while the “digitalisation of everything” including currency is “exciting” it also “creates enormous challenges for regulators enormous challenges for business, but also for consumers.”
Jones pointed to last week’s joint announcement with Treasurer Jim Chalmers and Assistant Minister for competition, charities and treasury Dr Andrew Leigh on a planned consultation paper on “token mapping” would be issued “soon”.
“We identified within the regulation of cryptocurrency as a challenge we need to take on” with “token mapping as a first step”.
“We want to get the regulation, right, because we want to ensure the guardrails are sufficiently wide and to enable innovation to occur.
“We want to ensure that that innovation occurs within a safe ecosystem.”
Partners of the Digital Finance CRC include CSIRO, Macquarie Group, Origin Energy Electricity and the University of Technology Sydney.