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What’s coming in 2023 in Blockchain?

24 Jan 2023 FinTech

The spectacular human-led collapses of 2022 have given ammunition to crypto-critics and governments are more likely to focus on consumer / investor protection over innovation and jobs in 2023, with anecdotal evidence of Australian entrepreneurs leaving Australia for jurisdictions seeking to provide tech-enabling regulation as a greater focus. What are some of the key dates to look out for in 2033?

Central Bank Digital Currencies

The number of jurisdictions experimenting with CBDCs is continuing to grow. The Reserve Bank of Australia’s CBDC Pilot runs in the first quarter of the year and should showcase a number of innovative uses for a digital Australian dollar. This may be the year that a retail CBDC starts to form in a western nation as a potential stablecoin challenger.


In Australia, a long awaited token-mapping project should see the Treasury identify features of crypto-assets which move them outside of being mere property and into a regulatory perimeter.

Following on from that, CASSPr licensing is expected to become law this year which may cause consolidation in the exchange space for Australia as many exchanges face higher compliance costs. Other jurisdictions will likely move towards mandating custody for crypto-assets to help avoid further risk to customer assets.


With sporting bodies and ticketing rapidly moving towards NFTs, we expect further integrations of the physical and digital world with collectible tickets and memorabilia becoming more established as non-fungible tokens and further efficiencies to arise as the foundational technology of blockchain moves into these businesses.


Following the Merge last year, staking withdrawals on Ethereum will be permitted, likely in March, which will represent the next step in the evolution of Ethereum, which already boasts one of the largest developer and user bases of any blockchain.

What’s Next?

What will be coming now that DeFi and NFTs have run up and settled down on Ethereum and the failures of 2023 have shown how the mistakes of the centralised world can still be repeated with a crypto flavour remains anyone’s guess, but in the fast moving world of crypto only one thing is certain, and that is change.

Golf has become the most recent sport to scratch the potential of blockchain technology with Play Today bringing a Web3 element to the real world. Co-founded by brothers Michael and Mark Dries, Play Today is bringing a sensible balance of the benefits of blockchain without requiring users to be super tech savvy in return. 


NAB to launch AUDN stablecoin

National Australia Bank (NAB) is set to join big-four competitor ANZ in launching its own stablecoin called AUDN by mid-2023.

AUDN will be minted on the Ethereum blockchain and will be backed one-for-one with fiat currency, in this case Australian dollars held by NAB. The AUDN stablecoin will offer NAB customers the ability to settle transactions in real time, including when sending money overseas or trading carbon credits.

NAB’s Head of Innovation, Howard Silby said:

We certainly believe there are elements of blockchain technology that will form part of the future of finance… That continues to be the source of some debate. But certainly, from our point of view, we see [blockchain] has the potential to deliver instantaneous, transparent, inclusive, financial outcomes.

Stablecoins are a sensible entry point into blockchain and Web3 for large financial groups as they are well positioned to offer trusted asset-backed tokens. NAB’s launch may spur on further investment and research as its customers are exposed to the benefits of blockchain technology.

Although blockchain technology and cryptographic tokens are yet to reach their full potential, it is significant that two of the ‘big four’ banks in Australia have seen benefits in adopting stablecoins in some capacity. NAB intends to use AUDN as a settlement token, allowing for transfers and transactions to be settled instantly.

Digital asset specialist, DigitalX, has promised to use AUDN to prove reserves in digital asset funds and create real-time settlements.

The Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), Phillip Lowe, has previously endorsed the benefits of stablecoins describing them as:

the one piece of the crypto landscape where I think there is real promise

Meanwhile, late last year, the RBA confirmed that Australia’s Council of Financial Regulators (CFR) is working on options to incorporate payment stablecoins into the regulatory framework for stored-value facilities. NAB and ANZ are reported to be working closely with financial regulators on the regime.

With two of Australia’s major banks now backing stablecoins, the future for stablecoins as one part of Australia’s evolving payments landscape looks bright.