Swyftx expands into New Zealand, offering Kiwis more cryptocurrency options

The Financial Markets Authority says Kiwis should only invest what they can afford to lose.
The Financial Markets Authority says Kiwis should only invest what they can afford to lose. Photo credit: Getty Images

Cryptocurrency enthusiasts in New Zealand have a new range of cryptocoins to choose from with the expansion of a major Australian trading platform into Aotearoa.

Swyftx's NZ exchange, which launched today, promises to offer a wider range of currencies than any other NZ-based platform, increasing the total number of cryptocurrencies by 70 percent to over 280.

"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," Alex Harper, CEO of Swyftx, said.

Aotearoa's market for digital assets is estimated by the company to be grow to around $210 million by the end of 2021, with 800,000 Kiwis using or holding some form of cryptocurrency.

"What we have seen throughout the region is a rapid maturation of cryptocurrency in recent years," Harper said.

"We have around 5000 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."

He said New Zealand was chosen as their first international market due to the regulatory parity with Australia. 

The benefits of using a locally-based platform come from being able to hold accounts in New Zealand dollars, making it easier to make deposits via bank transfers.

But Kiwis intent on jumping into the cryptocurrency market have been warned about the risks.

New Zealand's Financial Markets Authority (FMA) says cryptocurrencies are speculative and high risk, and Kiwis should only invest what they can afford to lose.

Using a New Zealand-based platform does give Kiwis a level of protection as they must be registered on the financial service providers register (FSPR) and belong to a dispute resolution scheme, the FMA says.

Swyftx registered on the FSPR in July this year. 

There are other NZ-based platforms, such as BitPrime, which is registered on the FSPR, while globally popular exchanges and platforms like Coinbase and Binance also operate in New Zealand.

Kiwis who sign up to Swyftx are required to provide proof of identity and address before being able to deposit and trade on the platform.