Block mountains

The crypto ecosystem to fuel the digital economy | Blue Mountain Gazette


Nearly a quarter of a million Australians could make, trade and secure cryptocurrencies and digital assets by 2030, and the lights don’t need to go out.

High-impact future careers include supercomputer technicians, market analysts and resellers, security and software architects, lawyers, data scientists and auditors, according to an Ernst & Young report released on Tuesday.

“Cryptocurrencies and digital assets are fast emerging industries and will form a large part of our future economy,” said Senate Financial Technology Committee Chairman Andrew Bragg.

“There’s no time to lose.”

The cryptocurrency, digital asset and blockchain economy could become more important than Australia’s tourism, agriculture and energy industries, according to the report.

With adoption supported by new regulations, the digital asset ecosystem could generate $ 250 billion in economic benefits over the next decade.

The report commissioned by digital infrastructure provider Mawson found opportunities for significant gains in finance, professional services and the healthcare sector.

“Given the energy-intensive nature of many crypto-related activities, the resource and energy industries, including renewables, are also expected to benefit greatly.”

Mawson and renewable energy investment manager Quinbrook recently collaborated to power Mawson’s 20-megawatt crypto-mining facility in Byron Bay with the nearby Quinbrook biomass renewable power plant.

The cryptocurrency and digital asset industry could generate $ 68.4 billion – roughly 2.6% of the national economy – by 2030 and employ 205,700 people, or 17 times the workforce current crypto, according to the report.

While the industry can create a “significant economic impact,” cryptocurrency mining has a significant energy footprint.

Bitcoin alone is expected to consume 0.5% of global power consumption in 2021, or 43% of global banking power consumption.

Crypto mining involves nodes connected to a blockchain network solving cryptographic algorithms called “hash functions”.

But a new method is expected to reduce the large amounts of energy consumed, because cryptocurrency holders can delegate their stake to an operator, or node, rather than competing with each other.

Three of the 10 largest cryptocurrencies in the world – Cardano, Solana and Polkadot – use this mechanism, according to the report.

More partnerships between data infrastructure and energy infrastructure companies are also announced.

Mawson and renewable energy investment manager Quinbrook recently collaborated to power Mawson’s 20-megawatt crypto-mining facility in Byron Bay with the nearby Quinbrook biomass renewable power plant.

The report says blockchain-enabled financial instruments can make payments cheaper and faster, open up new forms of ownership and asset classes, and boost investment in crypto-related infrastructure.

Blockchain technology enables direct commerce between parties over a decentralized public or private network, as an alternative to large traditional institutions and established means of payment.

Using a digital ledger, transactions are recorded as “blocks” and connected to the “chain” of previous transactions.

Each new block is secured to the chain of previous transactions by algorithms and cannot be altered.

These characteristics allow cryptocurrency to be traded securely on a peer-to-peer basis without the intervention of intermediaries such as banks or the government.

Companies such as Commonwealth Bank and PayPal allow customers to hold and use cryptocurrencies.

EY expects other Australian banks to follow suit.

Banks could also provide custodial services to help protect assets from hackers, according to the report.

Data management services are expected to grow, spurring innovation as IT and storage are pushed to their limits.

Insurance is also becoming important as the growing value of online wallets and exchanges becomes an attractive target for criminals.

But Australia’s potential as an industry leader needs the right regulatory support and safeguards amid concerns about investor protection, market integrity and law enforcement.

“Australia does not yet have adequate regulatory systems,” the report said.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced new regulations which were billed as the biggest payout overhaul in 25 years.

But laws have yet to be drafted and passed by parliament after the federal elections.

Australian Associated Press