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Blockchain found to uplift NZ’s economy

In a recently published report called, Distributed Ledgers and Blockchains – Opportunities for New Zealand, it was found that distributed ledgers and blockchain are anticipated to provide a significant positive uplift to the economy of New Zealand.

According to a recent press release, these emerging technologies were found to likely have a positive impact on high-tech jobs and digital exports for the country.

Recognising the interest and investment in blockchain internationally, Callaghan Innovation and blockchain venture studio, Centrality, commissioned the report to provide Kiwi businesses and innovators useful insights into this emerging technology.

Callaghan Innovation is New Zealand’s innovation agency. It partners with ambitious businesses and provides a range of innovation and research and development (R&D) services to suit each stage of growth.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) contributed an equal proportion of funding to the research. The report does not represent policy advice.

Technology is now New Zealand’s third-biggest export sector, bringing in more than NZ$ 16 billion a year in overall revenue, with plenty more headroom for further growth.

Technological innovation is the path to lifting the country’s earnings and productivity.

This report is expected to ignite further discussion on the potential of emerging technologies like blockchain and distributed ledgers.

While the country is still at the early stages, there are substantial opportunities to both understand and apply blockchain towards sustainable and ground-breaking innovation that can support the country’s economy.

The report was able to provide useful analysis of the significant opportunities that exist for distributed ledger and blockchain technologies, according to the General Manager of Strategic Partnerships at Centrality.

Blockchain presents a huge opportunity, with over US$ 11 billion raised through initial coin offerings (ICOs) in the first half of 2018.

New Zealand has a chance to lead the way, thanks to their sense of fairness and social inclusiveness, to ensure all New Zealanders benefit from the full potential of blockchain and decentralisation.

Distributed ledger, as the report defines it, is a set of data replicated across many networked computers. Ideally, the computers in the network are in different locations and spread across many countries.

A distributed ledger uses protocols so changes are consistently replicated to each computer and the data converges to an agreed known state.

Blockchain technology is one type of distributed ledger. A blockchain ledger is immutable. This means that data cannot be removed or changed once it is published.

The ledger uses economic incentives to coordinate and drive the adoption of the ledger.

As reported, to produce the published report, the author interviewed over 50 blockchain entrepreneurs, investors, government officials, academics, and international experts.

A plethora of opportunities were presented in the report. These are high-paying technology jobs; high-value exports; and the facility to attract high-growth companies and talent.

Other opportunities include 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.

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