Web3NZ - the new home for all things Web3 in Aotearoa
It’s been a volatile time for entrepreneurs and investors in the Web3 space, which spans everything from decentralised finance (DeFi) and cryptocurrencies, to non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and distributed autonomous organisations (DAOs).
The situation hasn’t been helped by the collapse in quick succession last week of Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank and Silvergate, three key US providers of banking services to tech ventures in the Web3 space.
The ramifications of that will be global. But as Nawaz Ahmed of local venture capital firm GD1 points out, Kiwi-led or founded companies have raised $95 million in recent years for Web3 ventures.
“This doesn’t even take into account token sales. Most of these companies have no NZ VC involved, except for Immersve and Easy Crypto,” he writes in a post on LinkedIn.
Five years ago, Ahmed points out, New Zealand’s crypto scene amounted to a handful of crypto exchanges and “the most NZ’s most talented ‘techies’ were doing when it came to crypto was buying or selling”.
Web3NZ: a new online community for "Web3 ventures, creators and the curious".
Now he says that “despite our relatively small size, we pack a punch and many have built viable and thriving global businesses or novel solutions that are becoming the benchmark for innovation”.
It makes the founding of Web3NZ, an online community for people involved in the local Web3 ecosystem, a well-timed move. The website established by Callaghan Innovation went live last week and offers registered users access to a knowledge hub of backgrounders and articles on regulations relevant to the Web3 space, webinars and podcasts. Callaghan Innovation has also published Digital Assets and Decentralised Finance, a paper looking at the opportunities and challenges facing the adoption of these technologies in New Zealand.
An associated Circle social network on Web3NZ hosts networking and collaboration, a sort of LinkedIn for Web3 entrepreneurs, developers, investors, enthusiasts, legal experts and government officials involved in the digital economy.
New Zealand is yet to introduce regulation specifically applying to cryptocurrencies or decentralised finance, but most governments are implementing changes or at least considering regulation after a string of high-profile business failures, most famously the collapse of the trading exchange FTX.
“Web3 is becoming increasingly regulated, which is a good thing if that regulation is clear, principles-based and outcomes-focused,” says Janine Grainger, the co-founder of Easy Crypto, the country’s largest cryptocurrency trading platform.
Grainger says Web3NZ offers a much-needed space for the Web3 community to contribute to the discussion on what the right regulatory environment is for New Zealand.
Ventures active in the New Zealand Web3 space. Source: GD1
“By doing so, policy developers, regulators and ministers are kept informed of the latest technological advancements and trends, and industry leaders are aware of any regulatory or policy changes that may impact their operations and future Web3 plans,” she says.
Mark Pascall, founder of TheDao.Agency and the force behind The Wellbeing Protocol, which has been running a successful community DAO project in Cannons Creek, Porirua, says our small size means people in Web3 can move quickly and access a high-trust network of experts in the process.
“Rightly or wrongly we have an international reputation for ‘doing the right thing’ e.g. Christchurch accord and our response to Covid. We can leverage that trust,” Pascall says.
Visit www.web3nz.xyz to find out more about Web3NZ.
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