Auckland University Professor, Alex Sims, has implored the New Zealand government to develop bitcoin regulations. Sims argues that New Zealand has fallen behind comparable developed nations such as Australia in failing to develop a clear regulatory apparatus for companies that handle bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Alex Sims Argues That New Zealand Has “Dropped the Ball” With Regards to Cryptocurrency Regulations
Head of Auckland University’s Commercial Law Department, Associate Professor Alex Sims, has urged the New Zealand government to legitimate bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies through developing a permissive regulatory apparatus. Sims argued that legitimating cryptocurrencies is imperative in order for the government to lay the groundwork required in order to facilitate the application of blockchain technology in a range of economic sectors. “The technological advances are compelling, which is extraordinary from something that only came up under 10 years ago,” Sims told Interest.co.nz.
Sims argues that New Zealand has “dropped the ball” with regards to cryptocurrency regulations, and that the NZ government should follow the example set by neighboring Australia. “You can use digital currencies – there is no law against it. But in practice, businesses aren’t able to accept digital currencies, because if they do, they get their bank accounts closed down… We’re behind, but we can catch up. We can follow what Australia is doing. And some government departments in New Zealand are looking very… closely at what Australia is doing.”
Last week, Australia’s Justice Minister revealed plans to amend its Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act to bring cryptocurrency exchange providers under the purview of its financial authorities, following the repealing of Australia’s double-taxation on bitcoin, and subsequent legalization of bitcoin as a means of payment.
Sims Has Urged New Zealand’s Financial Sector to Adopt Blockchain Technology
Alex Sims rejects concerns pertaining to the adoption of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies by criminal organizations. “What is ironic is that cryptocurrencies – most of them – are actually far more traceable than cash. So [with] cash, if you get the money, you don’t know where it’s come from. Whereas with cryptocurrencies, you can look back, look at all the transactions, and find out exactly where it is… Some people have been saying you’d be stupid to buy drugs or anything illegal with bitcoin, because you can be traced.”
Sims concedes that New Zealand’s legacy banking system may perceive bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as an existential threat, but argues that mainstream financial institutions should work with blockchain technology rather than against it. “Depending how it’s set up, it could actually cut the retail banks out. So this is a reason why the retail banks should be working with people to actually get a bit of the action.”
Do you agree with Professor Sims’ critique of New Zealands lack of regulatory apparatus pertaining to bitcoin and blockchain technology? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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