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NZ missing real growth opportunities – BlockchainNZ

In the wake of an inquiry into the future nature, impact and risks of cryptocurrencies by a select committee, industry body BlockchainNZ says New Zealand must seize the transformative opportunities blockchain technologies offer.  

“There is an urgent need for proactive measures to harness the transformative potential of blockchain technologies,” says BlockchainNZ’s executive director, Alison Mackie.

BlockchainNZ is supportive of the new Government’s response, however says it lacks action.

The inquiry presented several recommendations including establishing a regulatory sandbox and improving public information on how to deal with fraudsters in the digital asset space. However, the Government’s  response is to simply continue to monitor international developments.

“Around the world, countries are embracing the opportunities that blockchain technologies can bring to their economies. For example, Hong Kong, Singapore and the United Kingdom have all introduced regulatory sandboxes.”

While many countries are embracing blockchain’s economic prospects, New Zealand’s passive stance is squandering potential benefits and exposing consumers to risks.

Acknowledging the Government’s recognition of the benefits digital assets offer for fostering competition and innovation in financial services and beyond, Alison appreciates the sentiment but stresses the imperative for proactive steps.

“The acknowledgement of the potential benefits is a positive sign. However, without concrete actions and a sense of urgency, New Zealand risks falling even further behind.”

Drawing attention to New Zealand’s standing in the 2023 Chainalysis report – ranking 89th out of 154 countries, far below Australia at 40th – she underscores the urgency for reform.

“Last year, the Government’s innovation agency, Callaghan Innovation, reported the banking sector’s reluctance to support businesses involved in the digital asset market hinders innovation and economic growth.”

BlockchainNZ advocates for proactive governmental intervention to foster innovation while mitigating risks. This includes directing banks to cease debanking practices and introducing a regulatory framework for crypto businesses to safeguard consumers. 

“The research found that over half of survey respondents had experienced challenges in maintaining a local bank account as banks worried about risk, and 90 percent had seen their business negatively impacted by a lack of access to banking services.

“There is also a huge potential for New Zealand to emerge as  a regional digital asset hub, capitalising on a burgeoning multi-billion dollar market. By implementing a regulatory sandbox and nurturing the blockchain ecosystem, New Zealand stands to create high-value jobs and generate substantial tax revenue.”

“BlockchainNZ urges the Government to adopt a proactive approach, seizing the opportunities blockchain technologies offer while safeguarding against potential risks. By doing so, New Zealand can position itself as a global leader in the digital economy.”

For further comment or interview, please contact:

Alison Mackie
Executive Director
Mobile 027 359 3938 

BlockchainNZ We provide New Zealand businesses and individuals opportunities for connecting, promoting and advancing in all things blockchain, crypto and decentralisation. We believe that by working together and leveraging our globally recognised brand of trust and integrity, New Zealand can become a key player in the move to a decentralised global ecosystem.