New Zealand’s Bitcoin market is to shrink even further in April when one of its flagship exchanges bitNZ shuts down due to banking difficulties.

In an explanatory note on Reddit, the exchange stated that “bank hostility” was the reason behind its ceasing operations in the near future. It requested all customers withdraw any remains funds by April 15.

“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,” it said.


BitNZ is one of the Bitcoin ecosystem’s oldest exchanges, having run since 2011. In that time, it has processed a reported 11 thousand bank transactions but the banks have now refused to serve the company.

The move is an interesting development, as fellow exchange NZBCX appears to be carrying on as usual. Questions over bitNZ’s compliance with AML/KYC requirements were quickly answered, with the exchange having complied in full.

New Zealand has made the Bitcoin press for the wrong reasons before. As part of Kim Dotcom’s ongoing legal battle over the first incarnation of his MegaUpload service, the country’s law enforcement and surrounding regulations come in for regular criticism from the entrepreneur.

How do you think it will affect New Zealand's exchanges? If you have any related information on the topic, let us know in the comments below.