Blockchain is fast growing into a mature technology that is touching many parts of the global economy, but still fresh to New Zealand.
Globally job listings for crypto and blockchain have been skyrocketing, growing 118 percent year on year in recent months.
The New Zealand government is currently reviewing the potential for a sovereign digital currency, as are many other countries around the world. Major New Zealand firms are collaborating around a shared blockchain logistics platform, the Trust Alliance, to create a trusted digital network for primary producers to easily share data, says BlockchainNZ community manager Alison Mackie (pictured below).
Kiwi blockchain firms have raised more than $200 million in funding so far this year and one of the best has been Easy Crypto, Mackie adds.
The company raised $17 million, possibly a New Zealand record for a start-up first round. Easy Crypto has recorded more than $1 billion in sales, with platform user numbers multiplying almost five times in the past 12 months.
“The significance of Easy Crypto is that it is a pioneering crypto exchange that has placed New Zealand on the map as a leader in the cryptocurrency space.
“It is an easy platform for users to manage their own New Zealand dollar that meets the regulatory requirements of New Zealand law and banking taxation,” says Mackie. “Easy Crypto has built a reputation of being the most trusted exchange platforms in New Zealand, where people can buy and sell cryptocurrencies and keep track of the market. They do not hold private key or store funds, ensuring that people have full control of their own money.
“Anyone can get into cryptocurrency and utilise it as an investment opportunity as well as a digital currency. It holds the same freedom and autonomy of cash and can be seen as a personal back-up to people’s private money.
“There are a number of opportunities for blockchain technology to re-cast conventional approaches to sustainable development and accelerate progress if deployed responsibly.”
Blockchain could be a sustainable development goals (SDGs) game changer. It could build resilient and transparent supply chains, create stronger and more accountable public institutions; and it could spur responsible sourcing and consumption for New Zealand.
When the United Nations blueprinted the SDGs in 2016, blockchain technology was in its early days. Few could have foreseen the trajectory and the potential of blockchain for advancing ambitious targets.
Governments around the world are proactively moving forwards in the blockchain and cryptocurrency market. There is a risk that New Zealand will get left behind unless the government and the fintech sector acts fast, Mackie says.
“We appeal to the government and Kiwi businesses to see blockchain as the next completely neutral, public digital infrastructure like the internet or email.
“New Zealand is a living laboratory for global tech developments and inventions and Kiwis are producing blockchain businesses such as Easy Crypto have a global marketplace,” she says.