Earlier this year, Chami Akmeemana, director at ConsenSys, a development firm building decentralized applications and various developer and end-user tools for Blockchain ecosystems, formed the Blockchain Association of Australia with major financial organizations including BNY Mellon and Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Jared Harwayne-Gidansky, North American Lead for Emerging Business & Technology at BNY Mellon, and Sophie Gilder, head of Blockchain at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, have worked with Akmeemana to establish a Blockchain ecosystem and facilitate the growth of the Australian Blockchain industry.

Smart city hackathon

This week, Akmeemana told Cointelegraph that a major Blockchain event for developers and entrepreneurs will be taking place in Australia.

The CityConnect smart city Blockchain hackathon will bring entrepreneurs, Blockchain enthusiasts, developers, speakers and experts in the field to judge innovative Blockchain-based applications and help companies integrate Blockchain technology.

Previously, Akmeemana and his team completed a successful hackathon called RegTech in Melbourne and with the establishment of the Blockchain Association of Australia and increasing demand for Blockchain technology within the country, Akmeemana and his team are motivated to produce the world’s largest Blockchain hackathon within the upcoming months.

In an interview with CIO Magazine, the Blockchain Association of Australia said:

“The primary objective is to uplift the Blockchain ecosystem and community and to address the critical skills gap in Australia with respect to Blockchain technology. The association aims to educate, develop and empower the Blockchain community of Australia and connect with both global leaders and best practice.”

Treated like money

Cointelegraph previously reported that Australia will begin to recognize digital currencies including Bitcoin as money and exempt taxes on digital currencies. The Australian government noted:

“The Government will make it easier for new innovative digital currency businesses to operate in Australia. From July 1, 2017, purchases of digital currency will no longer be subject to the GST, allowing digital currencies to be treated just like money for GST purposes. Currently, consumers who use digital currencies can effectively bear GST twice: once on the purchase of the digital currency and once again on its use in exchange for other goods and services subject to the GST.”

Australian government’s intent behind the removal of taxes in Bitcoin transactions and trades was to increase activity around financial technologies, digital currencies, Blockchain technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Australia. Within the next few months, Australia will likely see increased adoption of Bitcoin and Blockchain technology as a result of the government's optimistic approach towards the cryptocurrency market.

Big things

Acknowledging and addressing growing demand towards Blockchain technology in Australia, Akmeemana told Cointelegraph that the Blockchain Association of Australia and his team plan to bring “big things” on the back of the smart city hackathon.

The establishment of connections between developers and industry experts is vital for events like Blockchain hackathons.

But, it is equally important for events to ensure that the event will be worthwhile for both participating developers and attendees.

For instance, a hackathon held in 2016 led to the creation of Coindash, which ended up raising over $12 mln.

Although the firm did lose $7 mln in a hack, for a project that began from a small-scale hackathon with a $50,000 prize pool, it demonstrated overwhelming growth.