By Eva Szalay. April 14, 2022. (Financial Times)
Jane Hume, Australia’s minister for financial services, argued in a speech last month that the rapidly growing crypto industry had the potential to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs and boost Australia’s economic growth by more than 50 per cent. But if the country voted for the opposition Labor party at the May 21 national election, she said, none of this would happen. Australia would lose out because the opposition would ban digital assets “out of timidity [and] an obsession with removing all risks and protecting consumers from themselves”. The contrast, she said, could not be more stark with the current government, which wanted Australians to take part in the digital gold rush.
“There is a political reality here. I would love support of the crypto industry to be a bipartisan issue, but it simply isn’t,” she told her audience.
This is the sound of politicians waking up to the voter potential of crypto enthusiasts. Bitcoin and its peers have surged in popularity since the start of the pandemic and millions of people around the world now own digital assets, which are worth more than $2tn in total.