What a year it has been. In the last 12 months we have seen the blockchain come into public consciousness with the creation of the world's first smart contract blockchain (Ethereum), the rise and fall of The DAO, and the emergence and open sourcing of a number of strong “permissioned” blockchains (Hyperledger, R3 Corda). And meanwhile the first blockchain: Bitcoin has continued to dominate the cryptocurrency space (and almost doubled in value against the US$).
- In NZ we seen a huge amount of activity (for such a small country), including:
- A very successful conference (Ethereum.NZ) attended by over 400 people in Auckland and Wellington in May,
- The blockchain (and yours truly) even making on to the TV3 News (some of you may have noticed the irony of the title given than it was aired 3 days before the DAO was hacked :), the Listener and Radio NZ
- Some of the meetup groups consolidating into two main groups in Auckland and Wellington. Some of the talks we recorded including The State of the Blockchain by Arthur Fall of ConsenSys, Securing Digital Content on a Blockchain by Alex Amsel from Ownage and Blockchain Consensus with Proof of Stake by Sean Au
- The formation of the Blockchain Association of New Zealand and support for numerous events.
- The formation of BlockchainLabs.nz (a partnership between 3months, AUT and Brave New Coin)
- The facilitation of NZ’s first public blockchain training workshop at Tech Futures Lab.
- At the recent SingularityU conference in Christchurch there was lots of talk about blockchains with a great presentation from Mandy Simpson and the announcement by Sue Suckling (Chair of the boards of NZQA and Callahan) that NZQA are looking into putting qualifications on the blockchain in her bold presentation on the future of Education (watch 24 minutes in for the bit about blockchain).
- The Blockchain Symposium in Wellington organised by ICT Grad School and opened by Minister Stephen Joyce.
- An article published in the NBR this last weekend “Redefining Organisations for an Exponential World” which discusses how the blockchain could change the way organisations exist and gives some thoughts around how NZ might stay ahead of the disruption
- PwC hosting a Blockchain Association panel discussion around Identity on the Blockchain with local perspectives from Paul Salisbury, Steve Wiggins, & Andy Symons.
So we think 2017 is going to be a very exciting year in the blockchain space.
Stuff we know is happening next year:
- Another NZ blockchain conference. Following on from the success of www.ethereum.nz this year, we are planning something bigger and better for next years Techweek (May 2017). Details will emerge in January but we’re looking to create a streamed event with international speakers from the health and education sectors. If interested in getting involved please drop us a line (currently lining up key sponsors).
- Two new public blockchain workshops (Auckland 25th Jan & Wellington 5 Feb). Details and booking at Tech Futures Lab. Please book early as this sold out last time.
- The Kiwibank Fintech Accelerator teams will be emerging (we’re hoping there will be some interesting blockchain projects).
- Lots of great meetup events….
Have a great break