Thanks to all of you who have participated in the survey that was circulated recently asking about your or your organisation’s interests in blockchain technology, and the issues, obstacles and challenges faced in relation to blockchain. We have used the information provided to us wisely to set the strategy for Blockchain’s 2020-2021 activities, in order to prioritise our efforts towards issues that our members are currently facing. These are outlined below.
We are pleased to confirm that at the Annual Meeting on 30 July 2020 we have announced the results of the election cycle that was held in June. As a result, we wish to welcome the following new board members to the newly established Executive Council:
- Alex Sims (University of Auckland);
- Ann Ibrahim (Domain Name Commission);
- Daniel Bar (Centrality);
- Shahid Saiyad (IBM); and
- Stephen Macaskill (Digital Asset Exchange).
The Executive Council also includes Janine Grainger, Deputy Chair (Easy Crypto), Sean Au (Talkcrypto), Viktoriya Pashorina-Nichols, Chair (Simpson Grierson), and Graeme Muller (NZTech) who have agreed to continue in their roles as board members of BlockchainNZ. The Executive Council has also more recently decided to appoint Bryan Ventura (MinterEllison) as a board member.
Each of us will take a turn writing the BlockchainNZ newsletters, so that you get to hear from every single one of us.
The Executive Council held its induction meeting on 11 August and its first strategy workshop on 2 September 2020, which was held online via Zoom, and facilitated by Tim Orsman (Simpson Grierson’s Strategy and Markets Director) – thanks so much Tim for your time and expertise!
During the strategy workshop, the board members had the opportunity to:
- Confirm BlockchainNZ’s most up-to-date financial and membership position;
- Consider information provided by members and non-members who provided answers to the survey that was circulated by BlockchainNZ;
- Undertake a SWOT analysis with a view of focussing on opportunities; and
- Develop BlockchainNZ’s strategic priorities on the basis of the SWOT analysis framework, bearing in mind the survey results.
For your benefit, the key pillars that stood out from the information provided to BlockchainNZ in the survey are as follows, which the Executive Council will take on-board for the purpose of its “passion projects” (discussed below):
- Assisting with collaboration in the industry and increasing opportunities for the players in the blockchain space to network;
- Creating opportunities for blockchain-related businesses/projects to raise their profile and showcase their work in New Zealand and internationally;
- Engage with Government in order to support the use and development of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency in New Zealand; and
- Educate the public on the basics of blockchain technology on the one hand and create educational opportunities for required technical skills on the other.
Following the strategy workshop, each board member considered the “passion projects” they may wish to drive in the context of blockchain technology, including solutions to the key pillars listed above as identified by BlockchainNZ’s members, being (in no particular order):
- Use of blockchain for digital identity, and working with the Government and Digital Identity NZ in this space;
- Digital money, cryptocurrency, VASPs, and relevant regulatory regime;
- Challenges in obtaining basic banking services;
- All things relating to DAOs;
- Social meetups;
- Use of blockchain in the domain name space;
- Showcasing our members’ blockchain-related projects/developments/innovation (eg via recorded interviews that are published on YouTube; creating opportunities for events/webinars etc);
- Bridging together New Zealand and international connections in the blockchain space;
- Working with Government in the use of blockchain for immigration shortlist purposes; and
- Reconsidering the use of BlockchainNZ’s website (eg education, member-only content, additional revenue streams etc).
If you are interested in being involved with, or otherwise assist or support, any of the above passion projects, we would sincerely appreciate it if you could please get in touch with your expression of interest, and the relevant board member(s) will contact you.
Showcasing Your Innovation
As listed above, we would love to help our members raise their profile and showcase their blockchain-related projects/developments/innovation. We do not always know what is being developed unless we hear about it, therefore we would like to hear from you if you are interested in working with us on an event or an interview to help raise your profile, or perhaps being profiled in our next newsletter. Please get in touch – we want to hear from you.
Finally, if you have any news, upcoming events or updates that our members will be interested in, please send it through.
Nga mihi nui,
Viktoriya on behalf of the team at BlockChainNZ