5 Minutes With an Expert: Andy Higgs

An interview with Andy Higgs, Founder and Director of CentraPass

By Rebecca Ranjan


Andy is General Manager of Strategic Partnerships at Centrality and is the Director of CentraPass, which is part of the Centrality ecosystem, focusing on digital identity. He is well-versed in the world of cryptocurrency and is a key part of Centrality's vision of propelling New Zealand and the world into the internet of value.


Andy has a 20 year track record delivering growth, new business and performance improvement in commercial leadership roles across public and private sector organisations. Andy’s offshore experience includes Deloitte Consulting, MTV Networks Europe and co-founding Accelerate Sport (now CSM) developing sport and entertainment rights based in London. He held Director and Executive Leadership roles with Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development, Directorship with Rotorua Economic Development and has spearheaded a broad range of community building initiatives.


Andy ensures that Centrality partners with world leading brands and startups to achieve mainstream adoption for decentralised ID, open systems and distributive technologies.


What is a Myth Around Cryptocurrency That You Believe Needs to be Debunked?


People believe that cryptocurrency is used by criminals in order to launder money and conceal assets. However, cryptocurrency is essentially a very public system - if you can establish the onramp and off-ramps into the blockchain system, who is using that system, business or machine, everything is public.


The best way to govern cryptocurrency and its misuse is through sharing intelligence or an identity custodian who has the right access so that they can identify who is behind, for example, a wallet address.


Andy's Top Tips for People Curious About Cryptocurrency & Blockchain


1. Cryptocurrency is the future and it is happening whether you like it or not.

It is not a question of if it is going to happen, but rather a question of when. Cryptocurrency is the future of internet and money, so it is important that it is taken very seriously.


2. Blockchain systems are smarter than current systems.

An ecosystem approach to customer digital identity will enhance AML compliance while reducing servicing costs. Access to data can be facilitated by blockchain based systems to ensure trust, privacy, security and fairness is built into the infrastructure by design.


3. Governance is crucial.

The largest barrier to data interoperability in industry is not technology, it is governance. When creating a data institution, it is important to spend time sorting through shared pain points and focus on how to fix these problems for stakeholder benefit.


The reason why a blockchain-based cryptocurrency like Bitcoin is so successful is because it employs community governance. This takes power away from central authorities and gives the power to the Bitcoin community, meaning there is good alignment of incentives to create mutual success.


4. Environmental compliance can be enterprise blockchain's biggest driver for change.

Environmental and sustainable practices are a major focus for governments and imperative for change across industries. Enterprises will need a solid baseline of environmental impact data and a plan to reduce that impact over time to survive in the face of increased regulatory compliance. Enterprise data initiatives using trusted and tamper proof blockchain ledgers are the missing link to driving and enforcing compliance across industries.


Andy Higgs, CentraPass



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