The new boss of Fintech Australia has highlighted opportunities in blockchain as a key priority for the industry group.

Brad Kitschke, a former head of government relations for Uber Australia, says the group will have a key role to play in explaining blockchain to the public.

Blockchain is best known as the basis of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. But it’s increasingly being used in other applications such as verifying supply chain data and securing digital contracts.

There are about 35 emerging ASX-listed companies that operate — or aspire to operate — with blockchain technology.

>> Scroll down for a list of ASX small cap blockchain stocks

“We currently have around 20 companies within our member base who use that [blockchain] technology,” Mr Kitschke told Business Insider Australia.

“As an industry body, Fintech Australia is supportive of blockchain technology and we see Australia as a world leader in that space.”

Regarding cryptocurrency, Mr Kitschke said there’s been a hold-up in crowd-funding platforms such as initial coin offerings (ICOs) in Australia due to increased regulatory oversight.

An ICO is like an initial public offering — but instead of offering shares in a company, an issuer offers digital tokens that can be traded on cryptocurrency platforms or redeemed for products or services.

“Part of our role in cryptocurrency will be in debunking the myths about use-cases and providing trusted advice to consumers,” he said.

FinTech Australia’s main role is representing startups that operate at the nexus of finance and technology. It has more than 240 members.

“It is a tremendous honour to be able to lead an organisation which has been able to achieve so much to advance the fintech cause in a relatively short period,” Mr Kitschke said.

He replaces inaugural Fintech Australia CEO Danielle Szetho, who oversaw a rise in the association’s membership base from around 50 to more than 200 over a two-year period.

Ms Szetho stepped down in March, with Sarah Worboys working since then as CEO in an interim capacity.

Mr Kitschke said the association was aiming to advance Australia’s standing as a leader in financial technology across the Asian region.

“Part of my role will be to leverage Australia’s position as a fintech leader in the regional marketplace,” he said.

“We’ve already built strong links with AusTrade and the federal government and we want to continue the work done in those areas to assist the region, and for Australia to provide real thought leadership in this sector.”

Mr Kitschke said “one of the great things about fintech” was that many in the sector had worked in traditional financial services companies.

“So the change to more of a consumer focus is really embedded in their DNA. And the findings from the Royal Commission have demonstrated how banks treat the customer if left to their own devices.

Fintech Australia is a not-for-profit organisation which represents, advises and promotes 243 financial services companies.

>> Here’s a list of ASX small caps with exposure to blockchain technology:

ASX code Company 12-month price change Price May 16 Market Cap
ZYB ZYBER HOLDINGS 0.6 0.008 4.6M
YPB YPB GROUP -0.752941176471 0.021 13.1M
YOJ YOJEE 0.688311688312 0.13 103.6M
TTL TRANSCENDENCE -0.0344827586207 0.028 4.2M
TSN TRANSACTION -0.333333333333 0.008 15.2M
TB8 TIANMEI BEVERAGE (suspended) -0.212121212121 0.13 15.6M
SRO SHAREROOT -0.166666666667 0.005 6.2M
SHO SPORTSHERO 1.39024390244 0.098 24.9M
S3R SERPENTINE 0 0.006 4.3M
RFN REFFIND 0.7 0.017 8.2M
PIL PEPPERMINT 1.2 0.022 23.8M
PCH PROPERTY CONNECT -0.714285714286 0.002 3.0M
OOK OOKAMI 1.06666666667 0.031 10.6M
NOV NOVATTI GROUP 0.709677419355 0.265 42.1M
MTL MANALTO (suspended) -0.588235294118 0.007 25.5M
MBM MOBECOM -0.047619047619 0.24 40.7M
LNU LINIUS 0.586956521739 0.073 72.1M
KYK KYCKR 0.0625 0.17 19.2M
IOT IOT GROUP -0.789473684211 0.004 4.7M
ICI ICANDY 0.196078431373 0.061 15.0M
HAS HASTINGS 2.18181818182 0.28 209.9M
GTG GENETIC TECH 0.1 0.011 26.8M
FGF FIRST GROWTH 1.2 0.011 19.4M
FFG FATFISH INTERNET 1.35294117647 0.04 18.6M
DW8 DAWINE -0.533333333333 0.007 4.1M
DCC DIGITALX 4.15625 0.165 82.8M
CHP CHAPMANS -0.684210526316 0.006 9.9M
CCP CREDIT CORP 0.0160944206009 18.94 898.4M
CCA CHANGE FINANCIAL -0.0340909090909 0.85 71.6M
BPG BYTE POWER GROUP (suspended) 8 0.009 --
ACL ALCHEMIA 0.3 0.013 3.9M
AB1 ANIMOCA BRANDS 0.551724137931 0.045 22.5M
8CO 8COMMON -0.134615384615 0.045 5.9M

 

This article first appeared on Business Insider Australia, Australia’s most popular business news website. Read the original article. Follow Business Insider on Facebook or Twitter.