Kiwis are embracing blockchain
The technology is still in its infancy but has the potential to make a big impact, writes
like most people don’t understand how the internet actually works or how a cloud service actually works.’’
But why do we even need blockchain in an apps hub? After all, Apple and Google already have app platforms. What blockchain offers, said McDonald, is a way for users ‘‘to control their digital destiny’’. He also said that Centrality users ‘‘will own their own data’’.
According to McDonald, Centrality users will control their profile by way of a private key. ‘‘We don’t hold the information ourselves,’’ said McDonald.
As well as commercial applications, blockchain technology is also being used for social enterprise applications.
Tauranga-based software architect Robert O’Brien is involved in a project called NZ Data Commons, which hopes to enable data sharing across disparate organisations. Its first project is to implement a ‘‘shared data infrastructure’’ for the Predator Free NZ 2050 initiative of Biological Heritage NZ.
However, O’Brien stressed that blockchain is just one part of the Data Commons system. Only the marketplace, which he described as ‘‘a place for the publication of available datasets’’, will be built on the blockchain. And it won’t be about buying and selling data, but negotiating access to the data ‘‘irrespective of where it is held’’.
In summary, blockchain is at an early stage. But Kiwi startups and developers are using this technology in a variety of innovative ways. It shows what this country can achieve without the government and corporate meddling that is hampering bitcoin.
Richard MacManus (@ricmac) founded tech blog ReadWriteWeb in 2003 and has since become an internationally recognised commentator on what’s next in technology and what it means for society.