NEM is continuing its Asian expansion with a new deal with the Philippines’ CEZA, as well as new blockchain hubs in Australia and New Zealand.
Philippines’ CEZA Signs Memorandum of Understanding With NEM
A special economic zone in the Philippines known as the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the team behind NEM to support the fledgling Filipino cryptocurrency and blockchain industry. CEZA Administrator and CEO Raul Lambino says that growth in blockchain and fintech projects in the special economic zone could add 20,000 jobs in the Philippines and turn CEZA into the Silicon Valley of Asia.
CEZA Senior Deputy Administrator Ray Roquero also weighed in on the importance of encouraging the blockchain industry:
“Philippines’ Cagayan Economic Zone seeks to provide attractive conditions for financial technology [fintech] and blockchain enthusiasts but screens the applicants thoroughly to avoid fly-by-night companies.”
The deal also gives NEM’s smart access blockchain firm improved access to Filipino markets and possible developers in the economic zone.
Some Filipino Government Officials Disagree
Growth in the Filipino blockchain and fintech industry may face some roadblocks coming from the government, however. Earlier this year, the Philippines’ SEC announced plans to introduce what it called “appropriate” regulations for cryptocurrency and blockchain and asked for input from industry insiders.
It may not be a coincidence that SEC Commissioner Ephyro Luis Amatong announced the regulatory agency’s intentions at an event sponsored by UnionBank of the Philippines. He gave the usual excuse of protecting investors and consumers from financial crimes. He told his audience,
“There has to be a regulation. And in the SEC that is our goal here, to ensure that the rules are followed to protect the interest of everybody.”
NEM Also Setting Up Blockchain Hubs in Australia and New Zealand
NEM has also announced that it is setting up blockchain hubs in Australia and New Zealand for the purpose of creating education centers and pursuing increased awareness and adoption efforts. NEM’s Foundation Directors for expansion in Australia and New Zealand, Jason Lee, commented:
“We want to be able to attract software developers, startups and the wider blockchain community to explore and develop use case of the NEM blockchain technology platform.”
The new hubs will be funded by NEM and hosted by CerebralFix Group in Westport, New Zealand, and TravelByBit in Brisbane, Australia. CerebralFix plans to turn the hub into a co-working space and incubation center for new startups and provide space for engagement and educational activities. TravelByBit aims to turn Australia into a digital currency tourism destination through outreach and educational efforts with the goal of increasing cryptocurrency adoption among businesses in the tourism niche like restaurants, hotels, and amusement centers.
NEM prices may not have completely done a happy dance at the news (although it is up by a bit over the past 24 hours). However, these expansions may make the performance of NEM something to watch over the next few months as it establishes itself in the Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand.