Kaikohe businesses accepting bitcoin to help ride out economic storm

By Dean Nathan

In Northland, a change of currency is seen as a way of increasing business prospects in a downturning economy.  Kapai Trust in Kaikohe is developing a project where business and services can now be paid by bitcoin. 

It is a new thing in Kaikohe but businesses here have begun to accept bitcoin.

"We’ve got a few businesses that have actually adopted bitcoin," Kiritopa Hare of Ngāi Tupoto says.

"The economy is slowing down a little bit and we’ve seen through overseas examples that those who adopt crypto-currency in their business usually can ride out the storm financially."

Kapai Trust is currently seeking support to create an online digital academy.

"We’re running an international crowd-funding campaign.  We’re accepting bitcoin, that's E Tātou Digital Academy and we’re receiving funding daily from overseas donors," Hare says.

"That's the core of our project is to train these young rangatahi to adopt a career pathway in digital management.  We're in conversations with Madison and they’re interested in taking them on once they reach level 3 in their studies and they can take on small projects for corporates from overseas."

There are also warnings to those seeking opportunities in the digital world to beware of scams.

"I've known Chris for 25-30 years now and when we were talking last week we found out we have both been involved in bitcoin," Mark Absolum of Ngāti Pākau says.

"Bitcoin has been in the running for the last 8-10 years and people are slowly adopting it.  Quite a few people are using it in everyday life," Hare says.

With their motto to “learn and earn”, Kapai Trust plans to advertise for students next month.

"For example, we could use them to promote local businesses to receive commissions for them.  So as they’re learning, they’re actually using our technology and earning the commission from selling products on behalf of our local companies and businesses," Hare says.