Blockchain be­liever

NZ Business - - NEWS - Glenn H Baker edi­[email protected]­

It was the in­ten­tion of Justin Flit­ter, the or­gan­iser of the Block­works event on Oc­to­ber 12th, to “cre­ate a con­ver­sa­tion plat­form that show­cased how blockchain is solv­ing crit­i­cal busi­ness prob­lems and the im­pact that could have on busi­ness, govern­ment and so­ci­ety”.

Hav­ing sat in the ASB Wa­ter­front The­atre’s su­perb au­di­to­rium for the en­tire day, I can hon­estly say that’s ex­actly how it played out. It suc­ceeded 100 per­cent.

I ad­mit to hav­ing known next to noth­ing about blockchain when I rocked up that Fri­day morn­ing – apart from the bad rap it has been get­ting through its as­so­ci­a­tion with the cryp­tocur­rency wob­bles around the globe.

How­ever, just like all the other 350-plus Block­works at­ten­dees, I came away wowed by the po­ten­tial of this new tech­nol­ogy, and the sheer num­ber of blockchain ini­tia­tives that are un­der­way in New Zealand right now.

As Mark Pas­call, pres­i­dent of the Blockchain As­so­ci­a­tion of New Zealand, pointed out, the world is now past the crypto “hang­over phase”, and new, more se­cure, more de­cen­tralised, more scal­able and com­mu­nity-driven blockchains are emerg­ing.

Pro­fes­sor Alex Simms from Auck­land Univer­sity, who de­scribed her­self as the event’s “to­ken aca­demic”, opened the au­di­ence’s eyes to blockchain’s wider prac­ti­cal ap­pli­ca­tions – par­tic­u­larly around health records, the car­bon trad­ing mar­ket and trade fi­nance. “Blockchain will give us the In­ter­net of trans­ac­tions,” she told us. There was a lot to di­gest at Block­works – par­tic­u­larly for novices like my­self. But the day con­vinced me to take a much closer look at blockchain and the op­por­tu­ni­ties it brings to busi­ness, in an up­com­ing is­sue of this magazine. Stay tuned!

Mean­while, I trust you and your busi­ness will ben­e­fit from this month’s col­lec­tion of sto­ries, es­pe­cially our ex­tended ex­port sec­tion.

As al­ways we’ll be tak­ing a break in Jan­uary to recharge the bat­ter­ies (mostly lithium ones these days!), but NZBusi­ness will be back with its Fe­bru­ary is­sue to con­tinue in­form­ing, ed­u­cat­ing and in­spir­ing busi­ness own­ers in 2019.

The whole team at NZBusi­ness and Adrenalin Pub­lish­ing wish you and yours a very merry, but re­lax­ing, Christ­mas break and an ex­cep­tion­ally pros­per­ous New Year.

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