We are fortunate to be living in the only developed country in the world that managed to dodge a pandemic. Our unique position as an isolated island away from the madness, has made New Zealand one of the most desirable places in the world to live. For good reason, too. However, we have yet to feel the full force of the economic consequences from lockdowns, global supply chain issues, travel restrictions, and a drop in global trade. With tourism, agriculture, and finance, New Zealand’s three largest industries at risk of disruption, we must look for new opportunities to flourish.
By adopting new technologies such as blockchain, New Zealand has a unique position in the world to shine more than ever before.
Innovation in the blockchain space is accelerating at breakneck speeds again. For example, this time last year the decentralised finance (DeFi) space had NZ$1.5 billion in funds locked in financial applications, powered by public blockchains. Today, there is over NZ$150 billion in funds that have poured into these applications, and the pace is not slowing down. Financial services exploding in DeFi include collateralised lending, value/asset exchange and settlement, insurance, liquidity provisioning, and futures contracts. Managed by openly accessible software, rather than people and companies, the rules are the same for all the participants, auditable by anyone with internet access. Public blockchains are reshaping the digital economy by enabling financial inclusion, so that we are all on the same playing field.
For example, over 70% of the population of El Salvador lacked basic financial services. Until last week. The high costs of the legacy bank system made it too costly for banks to service over 70% of El Salvador’s 6.5 million population. Two weeks ago the government of El Salvador made bitcoin legal tender. Through bitcoin, public blockchains and financial applications, Salvadorans now have equal, universal access to lending, insurance, and financial services through non-custodial platforms. Something they haven’t had since the invention of the internet.
What’s more, for the first time ever, Kiwis can buy or sell products and services directly to the entire population of El Salvador through the same openly accessible financial system. Public blockchain networks enable people on opposite parts of the world to access the same financial tools and speak the same financial language, enabling collaboration and new business opportunities that haven’t been possible before.
As a developed country with the strong rule of law, geographically isolated, New Zealand has the opportunity to build these new business relationships in the digital economy that haven’t been possible before blockchain technology. If you’re new to blockchain, come to one of our events, take a class, or reach out to us to see what’s happening. If you haven’t looked at opportunities in our industry, now might be the time.
Nga mihi nui,
Stephen Macaskill, on behalf of the team at BlockchainNZ
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