Swyftx begins crypto trading in NZ

The NZ arrival crypto exchange Swyftx today should increase the number of cryptocurrencies available through an NZ-registered exchange by 70%.

In Australia, 5000 Kiwis already use the exchange. 

The Swyftx NZ exchange will increase the number of coins available through an NZ registered crypto exchange to over 280 coins – around a 70% increase on what is currently provided locally. Swyftx estimates the additional cryptocurrencies brought to the local market will have a total market cap in excess of USD $25bn. 

Crypto trading platforms in NZ must be registered on the financial service providers register (FSPR) and belong to a dispute resolution scheme.

There are over ten cryptocurrency exchanges in New Zealand, and Swytfx has grown rapidly- going from transacting $120m per month in 2020 to transacting over $3bn per month this year. 

When the exchange launched in 2019, it supported BTC, ETC, XRP, BCH, EOS, XVG, LTC, ETH, USDT, XLM, and more than 60 other cryptocurrencies.

At the time, Swyftx promised a low level of KYC (Know Your Customer) admin and said most users are able to complete verification within two minutes of signing up and without having to upload any documentation. However, the NZ’s Commerce Commission is closely monitoring digital trading this year and theBit reported in mid-August that Sharesies was warned to tighten identity verification for traders.  

NZ will be Swyftx’s first international market. 

LR Alex Harper with co-founder Angus Goldman

The company’s co-founder is Alex Harper, an Australian who was an Emerging FinTech Leader of the Year for 2020 as well as a nominee for Outstanding FinTech Leader of the Year. 

Harper left high school to grow an onsite IT company he had formed, hiring friends as employees. In 2015 he launched a fintech company to market their credit card payment processing app. In 2018 the pair founded Swyftx after identifying gaps in the cryptocurrency market.

Harper said the New Zealand market for digital assets is estimated by Swyftx to be NZD$210m and claimed research has found 800,000 Kiwis are planning to use or hold some form of cryptocurrency by the end of 2021, referring to a Financial Services Council survey of 2000 New Zealanders which actually reported 40 per cent of respondents currently use or plan to use micro-investing platforms like Sharesies, Hatch or Stake. One in five respondents of the survey said they were investing in or have previously invested in cryptocurrencies – an increase of around 7 per cent since March 2020.

Harper said the reason NZ was chosen as Swyftx’s first international market was due to regulatory parity with Australia. 

“We have around 5,000 New Zealanders already using our Australian platform and we know that increasing numbers of Kiwis are looking for secure, low-cost exchanges to buy and sell digital assets.

“We are also seeing significantly more institutional investors turning to crypto as a means of hedging against global economic instability,” Harper said.

Harper added that existing NZ exchanges work by “simply booking a trade with them.” 

“What this means is that you send them the money for a cryptocurrency and they send you the coin. It is basically just a pass-through of funds.”

“When our exchange launches, local crypto users will be able to hold an account in NZ dollars on the platform and make deposits easily through bank transfer – giving them the ability to trade in and out of different coins more easily. 

“Our exchange will open up the local market to a further 48 of the 300 highest high cap coins available, as well as smaller-cap coins that are growing in popularity.

“Customers will have a dashboard of their funds, and the ability to trade between different pairs of coins – providing significantly more flexibility,” Harper said. 

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