federal government blockchain grants

The Hidden Gem in Morrison’s Budget

Have you had a chance to run through Treasurer Scott Morrison’s budget yet?

It’s packed with a little something for everyone. And surely not cobbled together with a pending election in mind.

Right.

According to the government’s figures, even with the planned tax cuts, the budget deficit in 2018/19 should come in at $14.5 billion. A small surplus of $2.2 billion is forecast for 2019/20.

It would be good to see any kind of return to surplus. Though even under the rosiest of predictions, it’s going to take a long time for the government to climb its way out of the half-trillion-plus dollar debt hole they’ve dug for Aussie taxpayers.

The latest figures show federal government debt will be ‘only’ $558 billion in 10 years. That was forecast to be $684 billion less than six months ago.

Let’s hope six months from now doesn’t see an equal, or larger, downgrade for those projections.

Even if you had a close review of the budget, there’s one expenditure you probably missed.

Budgeting for the blockchain

While the amount is small — $700,000 — the implications are far reaching.

As CoinDesk reported:

“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 budget document states…

‘[I]n late 2017, the government announced its plans to provide more than AU$8 million worth of grants to a blockchain-based smart utilities pilot project.’

With bitcoin-mania having subsided, you’ll hear a lot of naysayers proclaiming the end to cryptos is nigh. Even blockchain detractors are coming out of the woodwork, proclaiming the distributed ledger technology isn’t all it’s been hyped up to be.

Admittedly, there’s been plenty of hype.

But when the Aussie government is handing out $8 million worth of blockchain related grants — and budgeting an additional $700,000 for its Digital Transformation Agency — it tells us this technology is only just getting rolling.

PS: If you think your cash is safe in the bank…think again. Find out what you could do to protect your cash and financial privacy here.

Bernd Struben

Bernd Struben

Bernd Struben is the lead editor at The Australian Tribune. Bernd makes use of his extensive network to bring you the top stories you need to know about each day. Stories the mainstream may miss. Or bury somewhere you’re unlikely to ever read them. Bernd studied aerospace engineering and journalism at the University of Michigan, before graduating with a degree in economics. Over the past two decades he’s worked in media, management, and finance in the US, the Caribbean, Europe, and Australia. His other role, as the editor of the Port Phillip Insider, puts him in a unique position to read Australia’s most exclusive financial advice. Some of which he shares with readers of The Australian Tribune for free.
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