What a very different landscape this is since our last newsletter. With everyone at the beginning of lockdown for who knows how long, we are all very thankful that we can at least remain connected through technology.
Markets and currencies are on a rollercoaster ride and the only certainty we have is that the world is going to look very different at the end of this. What we can offer is recent updates and developments relevant to our members. Stay safe, stay home if you can, and stay in touch.
Upcoming changes to NZ’s regulatory environment
Over the last month, New Zealand government agencies have taken a number of steps to improve and clarify the regulatory environment for blockchain businesses.
The IRD has issued a consultation paper to seek input on a proposal to “exclude cryptocurrencies (crypto-assets) from GST and the financial arrangement rules to ensure these rules do not impose barriers to developing new products, raising capital or investing through crypto-assets.”
This is good news for anyone issuing or dealing with blockchain based assets, and will make New Zealand more attractive as a destination for international blockchain businesses. IRD is calling for input on the proposed changes – with the submission deadline now extended to 8 May 2020.
Guidance for VASPs
The DIA has put out guidance for the Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) sector, which includes cryptocurrency exchanges, brokers and token issuers.
The key take-out for VASPs from the guidance is that existing rules applying to international wire transfers will also apply to international transfers of digital assets.
BlockchainNZ has discussed the implications of this guidance with the DIA and understands that the agency will be taking a pragmatic approach to VASP’s implementation of this rule, particularly in light of current business disruptions that many are facing.
An international delegation from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) visited New Zealand this month to undertake a review of New Zealand’s approach to preventing money laundering and terrorist financing.
The application of AML regulation to the VASP sector is a hot topic internationally at the moment and BlockchainNZ met with the delegation to discuss the approaches taken in New Zealand.
The outcome of the evaluation will be known in a few months, and changes to New Zealand’s anti-money laundering regulation are expected to be made in response to the taskforce’s recommendations.
If you have any news or updates that our members will be interested in please get in touch.
Nga mihi nui,
The team at BlockchainNZ
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