As always, there have been lots of interesting developments in the local and international blockchain scene. In May, some of our members attended one of the biggest blockchain events of the year, New York Blockchain Week, which apparently had a few less Lamborghinis but a few more suits than previous years. Quite a few people from New Zealand also went across to Edcon in Sydney, which was well received.
In the regulatory space, the response to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulatory guidance for token issuers has been lukewarm from the crypto community as it still leaves many areas of uncertainty. SEC was also in the headlines last week as it is suing messaging app Kik over it’s 2017 $100 million ICO. It looks like Kik is going to fight this, so the hope is that it will eventually help clarify the application of securities laws in this space.
In other key news:
- Christchurch-based Cryptopia went into liquidation leaving investors and users in New Zealand and around the world owed millions of dollars.
- Plans around Facebook’s ‘Global Coin’ are starting to emerge. There is a lot of speculation at this stage (the whitepaper will be released shortly) but it is fair to say there is currently a degree of scepticism.
- Block.one (creators of EOS) have announced plans to create a social media platform.
- The Blockchain Challenges for Australia report was released from the ACS (the equivalent of our IT Professionals Association).
- Decentralised Autonomous Organisations dxDAO and PolkaDAO are now live.
We are trialling a members-only newsfeed service on our slack group to bring you daily crypto news. If you are interested in finding out more, or want to share your news, please email us.
Asking Government for a blockchain strategy
After numerous independent reports over the last two years, many of our members feel that our Government is not doing enough to address the risks and opportunities that decentralised technologies could bring to New Zealand.
Over the last few weeks we have sent press releases that were picked up by over 30 international news websites, such as Cointelegraph, conducted local media interviews and presented to the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Select Committee. We have also created a Blockchain Financial Markets Regulation working group chaired by Dave Corbett from Chain Financial. We will continue to look for opportunities to inform and educate our politicians. Please let us know if you want to get involved.
Techweek19 was a huge success this year with blockchain events happening all over the country. Highlights include:
- Blockchain powering NZ Business hosted at Duncan Cotterill in Auckland where we had a packed room listening to a great panel including Janine Grainger from Easy Crypto, Fraser McConnell from Choice Payments, Katherine Noall from Sphere Identity, James Waugh from Axia Labs, Shahid Saiyad from IBM and Dene Green from NZ Post.
- Blockchain and Business: How programmable value is disrupting finance was hosted by Axia Labs in Christchurch. On the panel was Matthew Shallcrass from Staples Rodway, Adam Lyness from Intranel, Callum Gladstone from Axia Labs, Alison Mackie from MeterMe and Ben Jordan from Sylo.io.
- The Blockchain meetup in the Waikato saw the blockchain and crypto-curious come together for an evening of pizza and blockchain technology with presentations from Alexis Chun from Legalese, Pete van Velden from Blockstack/Hyperledger and HealthTech Futurist Tom Varghese.
We have been working hard to bring the meetup communities within the main centres together so that all events flow through the Blockchain Auckland (1,900 members), Blockchain Wellington (1,200 members) and Blockchain Christchurch (290 members) meetup groups. From now on we are hoping to run monthly (mostly free) events in each centre. If you (or your organisation) are interested in organising, presenting or sponsoring an event, please let us know. Events can range from informal gatherings in bars through to large sponsored events with international speakers.
As a membership organisation we can only achieve our goals with the financial support from our members. This month we welcome a number of new member organisations to BlockchainNZ:
- Crossgate Capital
- IndusHase Advisory Limited
- Ministry of Education
- New Zealand Trade & Enterprise
One of our key objectives is to increase the level of understanding and education in this nascent and fast moving space. This can range from board level 101s through to advanced smart contract developer courses. We are also urging people who don’t think of them themselves as ‘developers’ (for example, project managers, business analysts, business managers and politicians) to consider undertaking basic developer training. It can be extremely empowering to start to understand what is going on under the hood in this new paradigm.
A reminder that we have negotiated member deals with some of the best global providers of blockchain related training/education (including Consensys Education and B9). Please contact us if you would like to know more.
Blockchain film coming to Wellington
After a successful showing in Auckland, the Trust Machine: The Story of Blockchain is screening in Wellington on 17 and 20 June (the session on 17 June has almost sold out). We will be introducing and hosting a Q&A after both screenings.
Singapore FinTech Festival 2019
New Zealand Trade and Enterprise is supporting New Zealand organisations to be part of the massive Singapore Fintech Festival in November (as they have done in previous years). As part of the event there is a Global Hackcelerator Challenge and Fintech Awards. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has issued problem statements in four categories:
- Banking and Finance
- Financial Inclusion
The more categories that a company/project falls under and the more problem statements can be solved, the better are the chances at being in the top 20 or top three of either the Global Hackcelerator Challenge or the FinTech awards.
Please contact us if you would like to find out more and be connected with Singapore based NZTE staff.
Member profiles – Centrality and Dasset
If you would like your company profiled in our newsletter and on our website please contact us.
Centrality is a blockchain venture studio that partners with innovators in key industries to create a decentralised peer-to-peer marketplace of applications. With a team “UNthinking the digital landscape,” Centrality is equipped to support its customers around the globe in the transition to a blockchain-enabled future worldwide starting with self-sovereign digital identity.
Read more here.
Digital Asset Exchange Limited, trading as Dasset, is the first fully-compliant digital asset exchange in New Zealand. Dasset is an online platform for retail and institutional customers to buy, sell or trade bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for New Zealand dollars. Customers will find the lowest fees, and often the best rates in New Zealand. While Dasset can be used by anyone, professional traders will be happy to find a range of trading tools, advanced order types, and APIs to automate their trading strategies.
Read more here.
Why become a member of BlockchainNZ?
As a member of the New Zealand Tech Alliance, BlockchainNZ provides an independent, positive voice for blockchain for New Zealand. We work closely with New Zealand Government agencies, local businesses, other members of the NZTech Alliance and offshore partners to generate valuable benefits to our members.
Through our work we serve to link our members’ voices to Government and cross-industry stakeholders. The services we provide ensure our members are able to meet best practice standards as they seek to grow their blockchain businesses as well as drive the wider digital economy forward.
Different organisations will benefit differently from being members of BlockchainNZ. BlockchainNZ is a vehicle enabling members to do what individual organisations cannot do alone, and even more benefits can be expected from growing membership and participation.
Key benefits for members include the ability to:
- Directly shape the New Zealand blockchain agenda and calendar of activities;
- Participate (at discounted costs) in activities throughout the year, both domestically
- Have promotional opportunities for yourself and your business in relevant activities and events;
- Gain visibility of who is doing what and direct opportunity to connect and collaborate with other members;
- Have sponsoring opportunities in blockchain related activities and events;
- Be part of the wider New Zealand Tech Alliance.
This is your opportunity to connect with others who care about blockchain, help shape the New Zealand blockchain agenda and promote collaboration across industry and Government.
Please email us if you would like to become a BlockchainNZ member.