Former Labor Comms Minister Stephen Conroy now chair of blockchain firm

Fresh from his time as head of Responsible Wagering Australia, Stephen Conroy will help Melbourne's Day By Day grow its platform.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

Former Shadow Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and Shadow Minister for Defence Stephen Conroy has joined Melbourne-based blockchain asset startup Day By Day as chairman of its advisory board.

The startup, which describes itself as an "innovative customer focused asset registry management platform built on blockchain technology", focuses on insurance and providing customers with an inventory solution.

The company believes it can make insurance claims process faster and more efficiently through blockchain technology.

See also: Is FOMO making enterprises unnecessarily leap into blockchain?

Its app allows customers to store information on insured items. It allows users to receive "DBD reward points" for engaging with the app regularly. Reward points can be redeemed for various items.

Through a broker portal, brokers can pay for access to live asset data on their customers.

Day By Day believes it is poised to shake up the insurance industry in Australia and overseas, and it hopes the appointment of Conroy will further strengthen this.

"Mr Conroy is a great addition to the Day By Day advisory board. His industry knowledge, experience, and passion for the development of disruptive digital technologies will be invaluable to the Day By Day team and we look forward to Mr Conroy's contribution to the company and the board," Day By Day founder and CEO Bill Angelidis said in a statement.

Conroy meanwhile said he was "humbled" to be appointed as chairman of "such an innovative and disruptive business".

"The problems of under insurance and fraudulent claims are significant issues for customer and insurance companies alike, and using the Day By Day platform delivers peace of mind for customer with an easy to use asset registry built on blockchain technology," he said. 

"Quite simply this app delivers a win-win for customers and the insurance industry."

Angelidis also touted the experience Conroy gained in "establishing Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), overseeing the transition of all television broadcasts in Australia to digital, and establishing Australia's National Digital Economy Strategy".

Conroy resigned from the Senate in September 2016, referring in his farewell speech to the NBN as his "greatest contribution".

Conroy served as Communications Minister until June 2013, resigning from the portfolio when former Prime Minister Julia Gillard was ousted in favour of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who then became prime minister again.

In 2009, Conroy said he would introduce mandatory internet filtering legislation in mid-2010 through amendments to the Broadcasting Services Act that would have required all ISPs to block refused classification-rated material hosted on overseas servers, with a compliance date of 2011.

Following the backlash, however, by the end of 2012, Conroy and the government dumped the policy, instead deciding to compel ISPs to block Interpol's "worst of the worst" child abuse websites under existing legislation.

During his tenure as communications minister, Conroy also boasted at a Columbia Institute for Tele-Information Conference in New York in 2012 that the Australian government had such "unfettered legal power" over its telco industry that he could even compel executives to wear red underpants on their heads.

Following his departure from politics, Conroy took on the role as head of gambling lobbyists Responsible Wagering Australia.

It is reported he will leave that post by the end of the year to focus on his public affairs consultancy TG Endeavour.

Day By Day is also considering a capital raise to support its expansion plans. 


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