Matthew Hale
Matthew Hale

Matthew Hale

02.06.2020. in Technology, Thought Leadership, Solutions

Future Directions for a Digital Australia

Recently, Treasury released an issues paper on the Future Directions of the Consumer Data Right, and Block8 took the opportunity to submit a response.

We presented a vision of an optimised and consumer-centric digital economic infrastructure for Australian consumers and businesses. It revolves around data - particularly the fundamentals: identity and rights data needed for individuals and businesses to transact with one another - and the tools required to achieve superior transparency, control, and agency over the raw information generated from a consumer’s daily economic activity.


These are uncertain economic times. They were so even before the recent development of the coronavirus global health crisis, when Australia was forced to take extraordinary national and state measures in order to save lives and mitigate damage to the economy. Chief among these was an enormous national JobKeeper debt, the impact of which is set to manifest over generations to come.

In order to accelerate our recovery, we must look to new business activities, work smarter, and work differently.

It’s no secret that technology innovation - both doing new things, and doing existing things better - is a prime mover for new business activity. The progression of the Information Age over the past two decades has revealed to us significant benefits with entirely new categories of business and continuous efficiency improvements from digital transformation projects.

Yet, beyond our recent national challenges, Australia remains with a prevailing need to complete its economic transition away from primary industry and an over-reliance on mineral, resources and agriculture exports. Central to this strategy is diversification into the export of high value digital services.

We as a nation must also look inward for efficiencies. By continuing to invest in digital public infrastructure, such as digital identity, fast payments and the Consumer Data Right, we can improve the efficiency of domestic trade, government services delivery, as well as enjoy data-driven policy making and transparent policy execution.

The good news is that Australia is in a strong position for a national digital focus. We have effective government and strong regulators, as well as a well-educated workforce and digitally-literate population - all currently working on a physical national broadband infrastructure in a time of social distancing.

Block8 is excited by the forward-looking nature of the Future Directions for the Consumer Data Right review and the possibilities that emerge, in particular, how the Consumer Data Right:

  • “can be built upon to support a thriving digital economy with consumers at its centre,”
  • “could be enhanced and leveraged to boost innovation and competition, and support the development of a safe and efficient digital economy, benefiting Australians and Australia,” and,
  • can “promote a consumer-centric data sector,” improve “the flow of information in the economy,” and encourage “the development of new products and applications.”


Block8 seeks to develop technologies that target the most foundational digital mechanisms of our economy, for it is here that the greatest efficiencies can be found. By developing fairer and more efficient data and transaction systems for Australian businesses and consumers, we can simultaneously decrease operational and compliance costs, increase industry competition, and improve consumer outcomes.




About the Author: 

Samuel_Brooks_Block8_CTOSamuel Brooks is an expert in connecting next-gen technology with current-gen business problems, with particular specialisation in the development of distributed ledger systems, having designed many DLT-based solutions and authored and contributed to multiple public submissions from both industry and government.

He is also an active member of the Australian blockchain community, including regularly speaking at technology conferences, meetups and podcasts, and contributing to industry and International Standards committees.

Samuel holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from UNSW and has been working hands-on with blockchains since 2014.


Subscribe to our Newsletter

Get the latest news on our products or learn what's happening in our guilds.