Blockchain Could Boost Australian Economy by $60 Billion, Reverse Productivity Slump, Says MP Andrew Charlton

stock exchange chart graph on australian flag background
  • Speaking at Australia’s Blockchain Week 2024 Federal MP, Andrew Charlton, has said he believes blockchain technology can add $60 billion to Australia’s economy each year and reverse decades of sluggish productivity growth.
  • Charlton says at the moment Australia is failing to seize this opportunity and needs to act fast to properly regulate the blockchain industry and spur innovation.

The Labor Federal Member for Parramatta, Dr Andrew Charlton, has publicly thrown his support behind blockchain technology, saying it could potentially boost Australia’s economy to the tune of AU$60 billion dollars per year and reverse decades of sluggish productivity growth.

Speaking at Australia’s Blockchain Week 2024 event in Sydney on Tuesday, the parliamentarian said blockchain technology could increase productivity economy-wide, similar to other fundamental technologies like air travel and the internet. To achieve this though, Charlton says Australia needs to move quickly to regulate the fledgling industry in order to give businesses the confidence to innovate and seize this opportunity.

Related: Breaking: Australia’s First Bitcoin ETF Directly Holding BTC Goes Live on CBOE 

Charlton: Blockchain Has ‘Rare Ability’ To Improve Industries

During his address, Charlton highlighted Australia’s weak productivity growth over the past several decades and suggested blockchain technology could be an important part of reversing this trend.


He said: “without productivity growth, there is no sustained pathway to higher wages or higher living standards,” and added, “we need this [blockchain technology] more than ever before.”

The Labor MP said blockchain technology has the “rare ability” to help drive productivity growth across the economy by improving the efficiency of a range of industries including healthcare, tax collection and real estate.

Charlton, who is co-chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Blockchain Group, also highlighted the revolutionary role blockchain can play in supply chain tracking and financial payments. He believes that if government gets the regulation right, blockchain could add billions to the nation’s economy every year:

With the right settings and regulations, the digital assets sector could add up to $60 billion per year to the Australian economy.

Dr. Andrew Charlton, Federal Member for Parramatta

But First We Need Regulation

Charlton made clear though, that in order to take advantage of this opportunity, Australia needs to act quickly to properly regulate the blockchain industry:

We have the strength to be a leader in responsible digital asset innovation, but the truth is, at the moment, we’re not capturing this opportunity.

Dr. Andrew Charlton, Federal Member for Parramatta

Australia has not yet passed any laws specific to the crypto industry but Charlton says he is hopeful Australia will pass a regulatory framework allowing businesses to hold digital assets similar to how they can currently hold traditional assets. 

The MP added that, “I think that if we get this right, Australia does have the opportunity to be a leader in responsible digital asset innovation.”

Related: Coinbase APAC Chief Calls for Clearer Regulations in Australia, Cites Innovation Potential 

Charlton also mentioned digital asset hubs like Singapore, Hong Kong and the UAE, suggesting Australia should look to these jurisdictions for ideas about how to regulate the industry in a way that will attract more crypto startups and address the nation’s tech skills shortage.

Jody McDonald

Jody McDonald

Jody is a Brisbane-based freelance writer who specialises in writing about business, technology, and the future of work.

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