FinTech Talk

Kiwibank and Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin

Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and blockchain are exciting new technologies that hold great potential, and at Kiwibank we’ve been keeping a close eye on how they’re progressing. But we also feel that right now these technologies are not yet ready for mainstream adoption.

There are still a lot of things to change, money to be made, and money to be lost. This is why we’re being very considered and cautious in our approach, and we strongly encourage others to be cautious too.

So today we’re supporting blockchain and cryptocurrencies in several ways.

We have shortlisted several great blockchain related companies for the Kiwibank Fintech Accelerator, and hope to be announcing successful partnerships soon. This will be a great way for us to work together with innovative startups to explore and prove the benefits these technologies offer Kiwis.

We are also generally happy for customers to transact in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, using their Kiwibank accounts, when it is for their own personal use. However, as with any transaction (cryptocurrency related or otherwise) if we suspect that it may be associated with illegal activity, our usual systems will kick in to prevent this activity.

At the moment we’re also not able to provide banking services to businesses or people who are handling cryptocurrency on behalf of third parties (for example, running a cryptocurrency exchange). This is because the nature of cryptocurrencies plus handling transactions for the benefit of third parties increases anonymity too much.

As these technologies evolve we will be continuously revisiting these issues, and hopefully be able do more to support the growth of cryptocurrencies in New Zealand in future.

In the meantime, our Kiwibank Labs team are always keen to hear your ideas about how blockchain and cryptocurrencies could be used to create great things for Kiwis, or how Kiwibank could support them. You can email them on labs@kiwibank.co.nz or join the discussion on our Facebook group.

If you have any further queries, please feel free to contact us.