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Baffled by blockchain? Then this conference is for you

Australasia's largest blockchain and cryptocurrency event ever is coming to Auckland next week. And the whole idea is to make it accessible for everyone.

Blockchain.

Chances are, the first thing that springs to mind when you hear the word is the shadowy world of computer hackers and the “Dark Web” – a place where, simply put, it’s probably not a good idea to do business.

But that’s not the way we should be looking at it, says Mark Pascall.

“The infrastructure is really starting to mature,” he says. “The amount of money going into this space has skyrocketed. It’s gaining huge momentum.”

Pascall would know. After all, he’s co-founder of 3months, and has helped put together the Blockchain.NZ conference. The two-day event, taking place on May 8 and 9 as part of New Zealand Techweek (in association with NZTech, ATEED, MBIE, NZTE and WREDA), is the largest blockchain and cryptocurrency event ever to take place in Australasia, Pascall says. “It’s quite a coup,” he says. “We’re aiming to educate and inspire.”

Featuring 20 renowned speakers and experts flying in from all over the world, the event is about helping people to understand how the blockchain and smart contracts are going to change and disrupt every business sector, from agriculture to finance. Put simply, the event is aimed at anybody who wants to know what all the fuss is about, including CEOs, directors, entrepreneurs, project managers, and programmers in every kind of business. In fact, Pascall says it’s meant to be accessible for everyone by simply explaining what blockchain and cryptocurrency is, how it works, and ways that blockchain technology is being used to disrupt business models and transform our society. “We need to understand it and how it can be disruptive,” Pascall says.

That’s not all Pascall says. In fact, New Zealand could be a world leader in usage of cryptocurrency thanks to our relatively small size and reputation for innovation. One thing that would help would be if major banks dealt with cryptocurrency, he says – something no large New Zealand bank does at present. “I think a lot of people have been limited because there aren’t really any exchanges here.”

The Blockchain.NZ conference is the third blockchain conference to run in New Zealand. It follows Ethereum.NZ, a sold-out, multi-city flagship event in May 2016, and Bitcoin South, the Southern Hemisphere’s first bitcoin conference that took place in November 2014.

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