Blockchain Tech Opportunites Abound for Aotearoa

A new report commissioned by New Zealand’s innovation agency, Callaghan Innovation, suggests the country is fertile ground for blockchain tech.

The crown entity has published an opportunity report on blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) that picks out blockchain-based digital identities as a way for the country to demonstrate expertise in the sector.

Callaghan Innovation’s specific role is to help make the country’s businesses more forward-thinking. The agency networks with government partners, research institutes, and other stakeholders, with the goal of increasing business investment in research, development, and, of course, emerging technologies.

With technology New Zealand’s third-largest export sector, the report, titled Distributed Ledgers and Blockchains Opportunities for Aotearoa New Zealand, focuses on what blockchain could offer the country’s economy. To produce the report, lead author Joshua Vial interviewed over 50 blockchain entrepreneurs, investors, government officials, academics, and international experts.

The opportunities presented in the report include high-paying technology jobs, high-value exports, the facility to attract high-growth companies and talent, an increase in access to growth capital, and the knock-on effect of being a catalyst for other sectors. The report also points to “significant” avenues of innovation for banking and financial services, the media industry, and public services, as well as the benefits for international economies, particularly developing ones.

The opportunities noted, however, lead to a number of considerations for New Zealand, for both the private and public sectors.

These include the need to “unblock access” to banking services for blockchain companies and to promote New Zealand as being blockchain friendly. There is a need to develop a cross-agency blockchain working group, a research centre for “decentralised computing”, and a blockchain financial crime prevention forum. Furthermore, the report recommends that the Financial Markets Authority create clearer guidelines for companies to launch security tokens, stating:

“New Zealand is well positioned to strike a balance between consumer protection and ease of doing business. If New Zealand were to become the go-to jurisdiction for launching quality security tokens, we could see a rapid influx of capital and talent to the country.”

Original article by Melanie Kramer,, December 14, 2018.

Tags: blockchain  Callaghan Innovation  distributed ledger technology (DLT)  Joshua Vial  

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