Australia’s Blockchain Sector Seeks Closer Ties to China


A delegation of Australian blockchain start-ups have visited some of China’s biggest fintech companies as part of a trade mission organised by Austrade and the Australian Digital Commerce Association.

The Financial Review reports that participants in the trade mission, including AgriDigital, Beam and Labrys, visited several Chinese fintech giants on Monday, including the Shanghai headquarters of Ant Financial, the world’s largest fintech concern.

The delegation is also participating in the Wangxiang 4th Global Blockchain Summit, held at W Shanghai The Bund on Tuesday and Wednesday.

China is giving close attention to Australia’s position in the global blockchain sector, given the country’s role as chair of the International Technical Committee for Blockchain Standards (ISO/TC 307), as well as its closer proximity in the Asia-Pacific.

ISO/TC 307 chair Craig Dunn is expected to tell the Wangxiang summit that Australia wants China to become more involved in the development of the international standards.

While China launched a crackdown on initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency-related financing a year ago, both officials and private entrepreneurs are still highly enthusiastic about the potential of blockchain technology.

China accounted for 56% of blockchain patent applications in 2017,¬†with the Chinese central bank emerging as the world’s leading blockchain patent applicant and Ant Financial’s parent company Alibaba alone responsible for a more than 10% share of applications.

The Chinese central bank has also recently launched a trade finance blockchain platform in the manufacturing hub of Shenzhen, while internet giant Baidu has established its own independent blockchain R&D vehicle.