EY advises crypto economy to reach $ 68 billion, create 200,000 jobs

Senator Andrew Bragg – who launched the EY report on Tuesday at the Barangaroo offices of law firm Gilbert + Tobin – said the projections supported the government’s goal of making Australia a welcome destination for businesses from cryptocurrency and blockchain.

Electoral risk

Mr Bragg chaired the parliamentary inquiry recommending a new framework for cryptocurrency regulation, which was largely accepted by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg last week.

“If you want to pursue a reform agenda, it is very important that there is evidence to support your position,” Bragg said. “A lot of people have said I was wasting my time, but now this plan is Australia’s national policy.”

The NSW senator dismissed criticism from venture capitalist Mark Carnegie, who The Australian Financial Review revealed he had relocated his digital asset fund business to Singapore, eschewing Australia for a more “pro-crypto” market.

“We will be in the top five jurisdictions – and Australia is generally not in the top five jurisdictions in many ways,” Bragg said. “We’re ahead of the United States – they’re still conducting congressional investigations, we’ve done it. It was adopted by the executive government.

He said he wanted to accelerate the government’s already ambitious 12-month timeline for implementing the crypto plan – which will create a licensing regime for digital exchanges and complaint rights for debanked crypto firms, between others – but that the elections at the beginning of next year presented an obvious “risk”.

“If people vote for the Coalition, they will get a top crypto plan,” Bragg told the Financial analysis. “If they vote for Labor or the Independent Voices, who knows what they’ll get – probably nothing.”

While the EY modeling predicted a growth rate 17 times greater than crypto-related employment opportunities, it did not account for jobs made redundant by disruptive blockchain-enabled technologies, such as financial intermediaries replaced by DeFi apps or corporate lawyers deemed unnecessary in a smart world. contracts.

Asked to comment on the net impact of the growth of crypto on the economy, Mr Bragg said, “I have never accepted the argument that technology is a job destroyer. Technology is solid and it will create more jobs than it will kill.

Decarbonization aid

The EY modeling also did not take into account potential ‘price changes’, which means that the assumption is that business and consumer investment in digital assets will continue to snowball, unlike in years past. say wilderness from 2018-19.

But James Manning, chief executive of Mawson Infrastructure, pointed to research, reposted by EY, suggesting that nearly a third (28.8%) of Australians are investing or are considering investing in crypto assets.

“Australians should see this as a huge opportunity for the economy,” Manning said. “These are real jobs and this [set of policies] would end the brain drain.

Mr Manning, who will open a renewable energy-powered bitcoin mine in Byron Bay, said the sector could be a boon to efforts to decarbonize the economy, despite its reputation as a big emitter.

The EY report found that “unlike commodity mining, cryptocurrency mining can be easily turned on and off in response to fluctuating demand, supply and prices for electricity. “. This means that miners can use excess electricity during off-peak times and help reduce price volatility.

But the Bragg Report’s recommendation that crypto miners get a 10% corporate tax cut if they source electricity from renewable sources has been rejected by the government.

“You can’t have everything in life,” Mr. Bragg said. “I have always recognized that I was a little lonely on the idea of ​​tax deals.”

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