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New Zealand Exchange Bitnz Shuts Down Due to 'Banking Hostility'

The New Zealand Bitcoin exchange Bitnz has recently announced to its customers it will be closing its doors soon. The company explains the unfortunate closure is due to a New Zealand banking system that won’t allow Bitcoin operations to hold bank accounts.

Also read: How Japan’s New Regulations Affect Bitcoin Exchanges

Bitcoin Exchange Bitnz Closes Its Doors Due to Banking Issues

Many New Zealand bitcoiners were sad to hear the Bitnz exchange was ceasing its operations. The exchange has asked all of its customers to withdraw funds by April 15 as trading bitcoins is now “impossible” for the company. Bitnz recommends using its sister service Instabit for New Zealand customers looking for another alternative. The company explains on the New Zealand Bitcoin subreddit:

Bitnz is closing down. Due to the refusal of NZ banks to allow bank accounts for the purpose of trading bitcoins, it is impossible for us to continue operations. Please withdraw all funds from Bitnz before April 15, 2017. Thanks for all your support over the years (I have processed over 11000 bank transactions since 2011) it has certainly been an interesting ride.

Is This Story Similar to the Alleged Australian Banking Blockade Against Bitcoin Companies?

New Zealand Bitcoin proponents on Reddit say the banking issue is similar to last year’s alleged financial blockade against Bitcoin companies in Australia. However, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission detailed during its inquiry that the banks did not collude to block local Bitcoin companies. 17 Australian Bitcoin businesses had received letters stating that their accounts were closed.

New Zealand Exchange Bitnz Shuts Down Due to Banking Hostility
Bitnz’s website stating it will be closing the exchange.

The New Zealand exchange Bitnz’s founder suggests the country may not a have a “fair regulator” when it comes to Bitcoin businesses. 

“If no New Zealand bank is playing ball it’s a problem for the Bitcoin economy in NZ – It seems like [anti-competition] to me,” details the Bitnz operator on social media site Reddit. One New Zealand bitcoiner believes it’s also a coincidence the banks in the region are fighting Apple Pay as well.   

Yeah, it’s either sloppy and lazy banking, or outright malicious monopoly driven douchebaggery. Either way, I hope banking as it is right now dies in a fire. Interestingly, the Aussie and Kiwi banks are trying to prevent Apple Pay from gaining traction.  The worst banks can do at the moment is slow adoption. Bitcoin is a better product, and while still dealing with the scaling teething issues, we will overcome these problems.

For now, New Zealand residents will have to search out another exchange such as NZBCX or Instabit to trade Bitcoin.

What do you think about the New Zealand banking problems with Bitcoin companies? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, and the Bitnz website. 


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Tags in this story
Australia, Banking Blockade, Bitnz, Exchange Closure, Instabit, New Zealand
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Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open source code, and decentralized applications. Redman has written thousands of articles for news.Bitcoin.com about the disruptive protocols emerging today.