Described as the ‘most disruptive financial technology of the last 100 years’, Bitcoin is quickly evolving the way we view money and our sovereignty over our own financial destiny. Enjoy our guide and welcome to the future of decentralised universal currency.
What is Bitcoin in NZ?
Bitcoin is a groundbreaking decentralised digital payment system that allows individuals to transfer value directly to one another without the need for a central authority or bank.
Bitcoin is free to use, accessible to anyone with an internet connection and device, and has no comprehension of international borders; acting as the universal internet currency.
This decentralized network is unique in that it operates using a public ledger called the blockchain. This ledger (meaning a record keeping system) is maintained by thousands of computers around the world, ensuring the accuracy and security of all BTC transactions.
Known as the gold standard of cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is now used by hundreds of millions across the world, including roughly 300,000+ Kiwis who hold Bitcoin as a investment.
History of Bitcoin
Crypto has been a hot topic for over a decade, but the complexity of this expanding market can be overwhelming due to the continuous news surrounding it. However, understanding the history of Bitcoin, the worlds first and most widely traded crypto, can simplify this task.
The inception of Bitcoin begun with a paper titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System“, which was posted to a cryptography mailing list on October 31st, 2008 – with “Satoshi Nakamoto” as the author. Satoshi’s true identity is still a mystery to this very day.
The Bitcoin network was deployed in 2009, released as open-source software when Nakamoto mined the first block of the blockchain (also known as the Genesis Block).
This bundle of transactions contained the first 50 Bitcoins ever created. From there, other early contributors mined BTC until 2010, when programmer Laszlo Hanyecz made the first known commercial transaction – he used 10,000 BTC to buy two pizzas from Papa John’s.
Interesting fact: As of this writing, that amount of Bitcoin is worth over $300 million.
Since then, Bitcoin has been traded over 800 million times, with the earliest significant transactions taking place in darknet markets. The largest of these markets was Silk Road, created by “Dread Pirate Roberts”, aka Ross Ulbricht, which traded almost 10 million Bitcoins throughout its existence. Ross is currently serving a life sentence as we speak.
Best Way to Buy Bitcoin in NZ
Easy Crypto NZ
Best Way for Beginners to Buy
They’ve helped mainline hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders into the cryptocurrency markets.
Easy Crypto is a reputable, reliable and Kiwi focused crypto retailer who without a doubt achieves their mission of making it safe, fast and easy for Kiwis to buy and sell Bitcoin and 160+ other coins in NZ.
EC typically provide rapid order speeds through their simple interface and are well suited to first time crypto investors.
Our biggest critique would be EC’s excessive compliance program, requiring users to jump through increasingly heavier identity and source of funds verification steps for users seeking to acquire privacy coins such as Monero (XMR).
For privacy focused users, non-KYC’ed options such as the NZ P2P Crypto Marketplace may be better suited.
Pros of Easy Crypto NZ
✔️ Beginner friendly: Easy Crypto’s interface is well suited to first time or casual investors.
✔️ Near instant KYC: you can typically create an account, verify your ID and trade within minutes.
✔️ Non-custodial: crypto is sent directly to your own private wallet, Easy Crypto doesn’t store it for you.
✔️ Transparent fee structure: When you place an order, you can see the exact numbers of how much you’ll receive.
✔️ Local customer support: when you need help, EC provides high quality one-on-one assistance.
Cons of Easy Crypto NZ
❌ Excessive compliance: You can’t buy privacy coins like Monero without proving the source of your funds.
❌ No on-site wallet: users must have a secure wallet already set up to buy and sell through Easy Crypto.
❌ Slippage: There’s sometimes a difference in prices between when you locked in your fees vs current prices.
❌ KYC: You have to verify your identity in order to actually buy or sell. This data is then passed on to the government.
Easy Crypto NZ is a homegrown, non-custodial crypto retailer with a strong reputation in the NZ crypto community.
They have a strong presence in the domestic crypto industry , sponsoring Cryptocurrency NZ’s meetups and are known to actively engage in New Zealand’s various community forums, groups and events.
Since launching in 2018, ECNZ has generated over 200,000+ users in New Zealand alone and has processed over 2 Billion NZD in order volume – securing their title as New Zealand’s crypto heavy weight.
Best Exchange for Advanced Traders
Here at Cryptocurrency NZ, we have used Binance for over 4 years without any issues.
Binance is the world’s largest crypto exchange, accounting for over 40% of the total crypto market’s trade volume. They have world class platform, access to liquidity, a plethora of coins to trade and are known to be reliable and secure.
They are however still a centralized exchange and the age old ‘not your keys, not your crypto’ still applies. We don’t recommend storing large amounts of coin long term on exchanges and instead recommend using a hardware wallet.
If you’re a day trader, looking to swing trade or practice technical analysis and chart drawing, Binance is very solid.
Pros of Binance NZ
✔️Plethora of coins: Humongous selection of cryptocurrencies available for trading.
✔️ Competitive Rates: Famously low trading fees, especially for high-volume traders and those who hold BNB.
✔️ SAFU Fund: Binance has a “SAFU’ fund to protect users in the event of a security breach or hack. Learn more.
✔️ Registered in NZ: Binance is a registered Financial Service Provider in NZ.
✔️ Advanced Features: Offers world class trading tools and charts.
✔️ IOS & Android: Mobile apps available for trading on-the-go.
Cons of Binance NZ
❌ Regulatory exposure: Ongoing regulatory scrutiny and potential for government restrictions.
❌Mixed Reviews: Some negative user reviews and complaints about poor customer service.
❌ High withdrawal fees: Withdrawing some coins can be higher than fifty dollars, depending on market prices.
❌ Customer Support: Limited customer support during high-traffic periods
❌ Centralized Exchange: Potential for hacking or security breaches.
❌ KYC: You have to verify your identity in order to buy or sell. This data is then passed on to the government.
Binance has has over 6,000 staff globally, and since registering in Zealand in September 2022 as a Financial Services Provider, they have invested heavily into marketing, complying with NZ regulations and developing an NZ based team.
Ben Rose, Binance’s CEO is a member on the Blockchain NZ council, and many of the Binance NZ team are public.
Binance is an international exchange, headed and founded by Changpeng Zhao (CZ), one of the most well known and trusted crypto developers and entrepreneurs in the world. Binance NZ is in it’s early days, but is gearing for the long haul.
How Does Bitcoin Work in NZ?
The Bitcoin blockchain is a digital ledger that records all transactions made with Bitcoin. It is a decentralised system that operates independently of traditional banks or financial institutions, making it a popular alternative for secure and transparent financial activity.
Note: This is where the acronym “DeFi” comes from, meaning ‘Decentralized Finance’.
Each transaction made with Bitcoin is verified and recorded on the blockchain, which is maintained by a network of users around the world in an autonomous, trustless fashion.
This decentralised system ensures the security, censorship resistance, and accuracy of Bitcoin transactions, while also making it difficult for fraud or hacking attempts to occur.
The blockchain also ensures BTC can not be counterfeited, making it’s scarcity absolute.
The use of the blockchain has many potential applications beyond Bitcoin, including in areas such as supply chain management, voting systems, and identity verification. However Bitcoin’s blockchain is the first to ever exist, crediting Satoshi’s work with prestige far beyond creating a universal, censorship resistant, borderless internet cash.
The blockchain industry and its adoption is quickly evolving in New Zealand and around the world, as more industries explore the benefits of this innovative and open technology.
How to Store Bitcoin in NZ
Bitcoin are stored in Bitcoin wallets – which are free to set up, use and operate, and you can set up as many bitcoin wallets as you like. Best of all, you don’t have to ask anyone for permission to use it, to send and receive payments in Bitcoin (BTC).
Until today, you would’ve been accustomed to accessing your various online accounts and services by using your email address and password. In the world of crypto, wallet access and ownership is instead represented by something called a public and private key pair.
What is Bitcoin Mining in NZ?
Bitcoin mining refers to the computational process of validating and adding transactions to Bitcoin’s Blockchain. Miners use specialized hardware to solve complex mathematical equations and compete with each other to add a block of transactions to the blockchain.
Upon successfully adding a block, the miner is awarded newly created bitcoins along with transaction fees from the transactions incorporated in the block. This process is known as proof-of-work and is essential to ensuring the security and reliability of the BTC network.
Private Keys and Public Keys
Acting as your digital identity and signature, every cryptocurrency wallet is distinct by having its own unique public and private key – with each unique key pair being freshly generated whenever a new cryptocurrency wallet is created.
- Private Key: Private keys is the password to your crypto bank account, and it’s required to sign off outbound transactions from your wallet. Never share your private key with anyone, and the security of your wallet rides on how safely you store your private key.
- Public Key: Bitcoin public keys are like your crypto bank account number – an address others can use to send you Bitcoin. You can safely send your public key to anyone, knowing they can’t change or open your wallet, but rather use it to send you Bitcoin.
Best Bitcoin Wallets in NZ
Best Bitcoin Wallet for security
Trezor Model T
Purchase Cost: $219
Cloud Storage: No
Cold Storage: Yes
At Cryptocurrency NZ, we endorse the Model T as our preferred hardware wallet for several reasons, with security being at the forefront. The Model T offers robust security features, including offline storage of private keys and the availability of a physical security key, which provides an extra layer of protection against threats.
Pros of Trezor Model T:
✔️ Versatile Crypto Support: Trezor stands out for its compatibility with a array of currencies, enabling users to store multiple assets in one wallet.
✔️ Available Touch Screen: The presence of a touch screen on certain models of Trezor enhances user interaction and navigation. This feature contributes to a more intuitive and user-friendly experience.
✔️ Highly Secure: Trezor is renowned for its robust security measures. By storing private keys offline in the hardware wallet, it provides optimal protection against online threats such as phishing attacks and malware.
Cons of Trezor Model T:
❌ Security key exclusive to Model T: While the Trezor Model T offers the added security of a physical security key, other Trezor models lack this feature.
❌ Relatively High Cost: Compared to some software wallets, Trezor hardware wallets are relatively more expensive. The investment in hardware security might deter budget-conscious users or those with smaller crypto holdings.
❌ Not Beginner-Friendly: Trezor’s advanced security features and configuration options may overwhelm beginners new to crypto. The setup process to operate the hardware wallet effectively may require some technical knowledge.
The Trezor Model T Wallet is a cutting-edge hardware wallet designed to provide top-notch security for managing cryptocurrency assets. With its sleek design and user-friendly touch screen, the Model T stands out as a versatile solution.
One of its distinguishing features is the availability of a security key, which further enhances the protection of your private keys and sensitive information. This hardware-based security approach significantly reduces the risk of unauthorized access. For New Zealanders seeking a secure and efficient way to safeguard their digital assets, such as their Bitcoin the Trezor Model T Wallet is an excellent choice.
To learn more about the features and benefits of Trezor Wallet, we recommend checking out our comprehensive guide, “What is Trezor Hardware Wallet NZ.“
Best Bitcoin wallet for beginners
Purchase Cost: Free
Cloud Storage: Yes
Cold Storage: Yes
Cryptocurrency NZ Chooses Exodus as the best Bitcoin wallet for beginners due to its exceptional features. Being a free wallet, it offers an accessible entry point for newcomers. Additionally, Exodus provides great customer support.
Pros Of Exodus Wallet:
✔️ Built-in Exchange: Exodus offers the convenience of a built-in exchange, allowing users to easily trade between supported cryptocurrencies without leaving the wallet interface.
✔️ Good Customer Support: With responsive and helpful customer support, Exodus ensures that users receive assistance promptly, enhancing their overall wallet experience.
✔️ Easy Setup Process: Exodus boasts a user-friendly and straightforward setup process, making it an ideal choice for beginners entering the world of cryptocurrency.
Cons Of Exodus Wallet :
- ❌ Closed Source Software: The closed-source nature of Exodus’s software may raise concerns for security-conscious users, as they have limited visibility into the codebase and potential vulnerabilities.
- ❌ Lacks 2FA Security Protection: Unfortunately, Exodus currently lacks Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), which is an additional layer of security desired by some users to protect their accounts from unauthorized access.
Exodus is a user-friendly desktop and mobile wallet known for its straightforward interface and built-in exchange. With the ability to swap between over 250 cryptocurrencies, it offers great versatility for users. Beginners appreciate its simplicity and excellent customer support, making it an ideal entry point into the world of crypto.
However, more advanced users might find it lacking due to its closed-source nature, raising potential security concerns. Despite this, Exodus allows custom fee settings and ensures prompt transaction completion, adding to its appeal for users seeking cost-effective and efficient transactions.
Why Do Most Kiwis Explore Bitcoin in NZ?
Most Kiwis who buy Bitcoin (BTC) are either doing it as an investment, or to leverage it’s utility as a decentralized, borderless e-cash. Because Bitcoin is 100% intangible, you can easily transfer it internationally or instead move across countries, with your Bitcoin still stored in the blockchain. As long as you have access to your keys, you can access your Bitcoin from anywhere in the world – and spend it on goods and services as you please.
Although Bitcoin is now a mainstream word, Bitcoin global adoption rates still sit between 1-3%. Over the last 4 years, as crypto has become a household name, regulation and interest from traditional financial institutions has continued to expand, showcasing the world’s interest in the potential of decentralized, universal, borderless digital currency.
Is there a Bitcoin Community in NZ?
New Zealand boasts a thriving community of Bitcoin and crypto enthusiasts, many of whom gather on popular social platforms like Facebook, Telegram, Reddit and Discord.
Within the NZ Bitcoin community, there are two primary factions. The Bitcoin maxis (Bitcoin maximalists who believe Bitcoin alone is the only true crypto, everything else is a scam), and the Bitcoin generalists who understand Bitcoin is the king, but also explore, invest and use other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Monero, Dogecoin and so forth.
Online communities in general are a really valuable place to learn, gain exposure, and meet likeminded Kiwis. The list below showcases the corners of NZ’s Bitcoin community:
- Cryptocurrency NZ Community Facebook Group – (Highly recommend)
- Cryptocurrency NZ Monthly (in real life) Meetups – (Last Wednesday of every month)
- NZ Bitcoin / Crypto Miners Facebook Group – (NZ’s largest Bitcoin miners forum)
- Cryptocurrency NZ Discord Group (NZ’s largest Discord crypto community, ours)
- r/NZBitcoin – (New Zealand’s Bitcoin and Crypto Reddit group)
- NZ P2P Crypto Marketplace – (NZ’s Largest Crypto P2P marketplace)
Have a community for us to list? Please reach out to us!
Is Bitcoin a Good Investment in NZ?
At Cryptocurrency NZ we believe Bitcoin is more than a investment. Bitcoin is unique due to its fundamental characteristics that distinguish it from traditional finance. Bitcoin’s value proposition lies in its ability to provide security, privacy, decentralization, freedom, censorship resistance and offers a beacon of freedom in a world controlled by banks.
Stay humble and stack sats.