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The discussions around digital identity and digital money down at the KANZ Summit in Auckland left me convinced that they remain mobile-centric for the foreseeable future. They also left me convinced that this whole Internet of Things thing hasn’t really been thought through.

Lots of conversations about the relationship between digital identity and digital money this week, some of which reminded me of the terrific interaction around this topic at the Korea-Australia-New Zealand Technology Summit that I was invited to earlier this year. The summit, which was held in Auckland in July, brought together industry, research and policy representatives from Korea, Australia and New Zealand to discuss digital developments and explore opportunities for collaboration and new business.


The wonderful people at New Zealand Trade & Enterprise had very kindly asked me along to chair a stream about digital identity and digital money, subjects that they had (quite correctly, as it turned out) determined to be a focus of interest for the delegates. It went down rather well, to be honest.

For me, the highlight of the event was Dave Birch’s stream on digital identity and money. Dave is the Global Ambassador for Consult Hyperion, a UK-based consultancy focused on security around electronic transactions.

[From KANZ Technology Summit 2014 | Xero Blog]

The truth is, of course, that the reason that the stream generated such valuable conversation and such interesting ideas was that NZTE had jammed it full of great people. I was just the gameshow host for the stream and I couldn’t lose, because I had people like Roxanne Salton from ASB making great presentations about the future of electronic transactions.


We even had a mini unconference in the middle of the event, which I thought went incredibly well, especially since many of the delegates had not previously participated in such an unstructured session before. I got caught in some very interesting debates around the “Internet of Things” (or the “IoT” as some people call it) and the extent to which the security of such should be co-ordinated, by whom, and a what level. These were partly stimulated by the talk around the Christchurch rebuild, where absolutely everything is going to be instrumented, and partly simulated by thinking around use cases for mass market identity technology. I found the discussion around the relationship between government and private sector identities especially interesting given what it going on back in the UK with the Cabinet Office’s Identity Assurance Programme.

KANZ Technology Summit Day 2

One quick point about the plenary sessions, which were surprisingly good compared to ones I’ve heard at similar events. All of them we genuinely interesting, but the one that I’ll be thinking about for a while was the one by Matt Barrie from Freelancer.com and the University of Sydney. Matt was very focused on the opportunities that are arising from the technology-driven disruption of different industries and made judicious use of examples to make his points and set the minds of the audience racing. Mine included, I might add.

Matt was not only a great speaker but so interesting (and so nice) that I whipped out my instrument to get his attention and ushered him into a backroom for a quick podcast. It turned out to be not so quick, but if you are even remotely interested in the “3Rs” (recognition, relationship and reputation) business model around online identity that Consult Hyperion has been using with international clients, I urge you to listen to it as it is quite honestly one of the most interesting — and in some ways profound — podcasts that I’ve made in the eight years or so I’ve been doing them. Freelancer.com is turning into an online economy with its own rules, payments and police force, all of which are based on reputation.

And finally: you can see the KANZ 14 photo album online if you want to get more of a picture of how the event went and who came along. All I will say about in conclusion was that I learned some new things, and I cannot give an event any higher praise than that.

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