It’s a very crypto start to the week:
1. A group of fintech startups are pushing for the government to setup an Australian dollar cryptocurrency. The concept, with the working title Digital Australian Dollar – the DAD – would enable real-time trustworthy transactions with a currency pegged to the real AUD to minimise volatility. Read more on the proposal.
2. Australia’s first initial coin offering has closed after raising $34 million. Perth energy tech startup Power Ledger produced one billion “POWR” tokens, then offered around a third of them to the public. Read more on how 15,000 buyers signed on for a piece of the action.
3. No one’s buying electric cars in Australia but a new report from think tank The Australia Institute suggests measures like in Norway – where an astonishing 23% of new cars sold are electric – might be able to change that. They include waiving tolls, letting electric cars drive in bus lanes and an exemption from the luxury car tax. Read more on the suggestions.
4. Three million premises have now subscribed to the NBN. The milestone was reached after the network this year started to reach deep into metropolitan centres. The AFR reports NBN activations have gone up by 2 million just in the last 17 months, with fibre-to-the-node and hybrid fibre coaxial (old pay TV cables) making up about 1.4 million of those.
5. Forget the federal government, facial recognition is already being used at your local pharmacy. iTnews reports the National Pharmacies chain has rolled out electronic kiosks in 100 stores in NSW, South Australia and Victoria to allow customers to self-serve tasks like look at past transactions, book health check appointments and manage their loyalty membership.