NZ not yet crypto-friendly, but interested


This week El Salvador became the first country to officially use bitcoin as legal tender. The Central American republic purchased 400 bitcoins (NZ$29 million) at the time, and another 150 on Wednesday.

Cryptoasset expert Bell Gully special counsel Campbell Pentney said cryptoassets and the diverse use of blockchain technology had become part of the mainstream and New Zealand was “lagging behind crypto-friendly countries” like El Salvador, Singapore, Switzerland and Germany.

China has created its digital yuan but it doesn’t use blockchain and even Facebook plans to launch diem, a digital coin it had backed this year.

On Wednesday the Finance and Expenditure Committee heard from some industry experts who made submissions to the select committee’s inquiry into understanding the current and future nature, impact and risks of cryptocurrencies.

Inland Revenue has been updating its guidance aimed at improving how ordinary tax rules applied to cryptoassets.On Wednesday, in its draft amendments Bill IRD included the exclusion of cryptoassets (not NFTs) from GST and the financial arrangement rules to ensure these rules did not impose barriers to developing new products, raising capital, and investing through cryptoassets.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has also been consulting this year to create a central bank digital currency.

Pentney said it was a “positive sign” that the Government was taking an interest in the cryptoasset space.

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