It’s been a packed month at BlockchainNZ and the wider Web3 community. We recently hosted our AGM, where we discussed our progress over the last 12 months, our strategy for the coming year, announced our new Executive Council, and thanked our departing council members.
We have a few familiar faces re-join our council, including Bryan Ventura (Hamilton Locke) and Kate Waltman(Glorious Digital). It’s great to have you both back on the team! And we’re also excited to welcome on board Nawaz Ahmed (GD1 Web3 Fund) and Ryan Johnson-Hunt (StakeDigital).
I also want to extend my sincere gratitude to one of our departing members, Sean Au. Sean is a founding member of BlockchainNZ and a member of our Executive Council since 2018. Sean has been an integral part of our education work at BCNZ, notably with his member interview series, and recently our BlockchainNZ ABC’s How-To series. Thank you for all your work, Sean!
Last month we hosted our event with Alibaba Cloud and Invest Hong Kong for a deep-dive into the Hong Kong Web3 market at the beautiful Hamilton Locke offices. We had an amazing turn-out, and it was great to see so many familiar faces interested in expanding beyond our NZ shores.
Key insights from Invest Hong Kong revealed Hong Kong’s proactive approach to regulating the Virtual Asset (VA) space. The city has introduced a licensing regime for VA Exchanges and extended regulatory guidance to banks for offering VA-related services. They are also considering a forward-looking stance on property rights for tokenized assets and the legality of smart contracts.
On the ecosystem front, Hong Kong is emerging as a significant Web3 hub. The government has initiated two licensed VA platforms and listed Crypto Asset ETFs as of December 2022. To fuel further growth, over $50 million has been allocated for Web3 development. On the talent and investment side, Hong Kong’s Top Talent Pass Scheme is geared to attract global tech professionals, and multiple funds like the Hong Kong Growth Portfolio are ready to back innovation.
For New Zealand, these developments in Hong Kong offer a plethora of opportunities for tech companies eyeing offshore growth and collaborations. These are exciting times, and BlockchainNZ is committed to continue these conversations and partnerships like these to foster a thriving tech industry right here at home.
On a more local update, the Finance and Expenditure Committee recently released the long-awaited report for the Inquiry into the current and future nature, impact, and risks of cryptocurrencies.
For context, in June 2021 the government initiated a comprehensive inquiry into the multi-faceted realm of cryptocurrencies. Guided by key terms of reference, the inquiry aimed to:
- Understand the nature and benefits of cryptocurrencies, including their creation, trading, and environmental impact.
- Assess the risks cryptocurrencies pose to monetary and financial stability in New Zealand, including tax implications.
- Investigate the use of cryptocurrencies in criminal activities.
- Evaluate potential avenues for regulating cryptocurrencies, either through sovereign states, central banks, or multilateral cooperation.
To offer a well-rounded perspective, the government invited public submissions and appointed independent advisers, including our BlockchainNZ Executive Council members, Jeremy Muir and Alex Sims. This detailed report highlights 22 recommendations submitted by the advisors, addressing the current and future impact of cryptocurrencies and digital assets in the NZ context.
Make sure to register for our webinar on 9 October to hear Jeremy and Alex discuss the recommendations they presented to the government and their perspectives on regulations, industry support and development, taxation, access to banking services, and Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs).
Ngā mihi nui,
BlockchainNZ Executive Director
Read full news here: Fostering a thriving tech industry in NZ