This is a bit of a departure from my usual content (reviews) but today I want to address something that might be of relevance to a number of readers of this blog – especially due to the popularity of my review of My Bitcoin Saver.
The question I’m going to ask in as simple and easy fashion as I possibly can is: “how to buy Bitcoin in New Zealand?”
Rather than bore you with some complicated guide, here are a few different ways you can buy Bitcoin in NZ, along with some pros and cons of each.
My Bitcoin Saver
This is the easiest service I have come across so far. After having tried a number of ways to purchase Bitcoin in NZ (NB I’m talking specifically here about Bitcoin and not other cryptos like Litecoin etc) I still believe that My Bitcoin Saver is absolutely the best way to get started with BTC in NZ.
Cryptopia is an NZ-based cryptocurrency exchange. It’s not one of the biggest ones, but it is growing and also has the benefit of giving you access to many different potential cryptocurrency investments (I use the word investment in the loosest possible sense, as most cryptos are completely speculative purchases, but there’s something fun in knowing that $20 worth of XYZ coin might be worth $10,000 in a few years time).
Cryptopia also makes it relatively easy to buy Bitcoin in New Zealand. Here’s how:
Follow their verification process (it involves submitting a picture of yourself holding NZ-legal ID, .e.g drivers licence)
Deposit money into the Cryptopia account using your unique details you will be provided with.
You will receive an equivalent amount (1:1 ratio) of something called NZDT – this is like a crypto token pegged to the NZD value.
Use NZDT to buy BTC on the NZDT/BTC exchange on Cryptopia.
Withdraw that BTC or buy other cryptos with it.
Reverse this process to withdraw your money.
As the name sort of implies, this is a service that allows you to buy BTC in a marketplace environment from other people in your area. There are a number of NZ-based sellers on Local Bitcoins, and the platform is straightforward and easy to use.
Basically you just browse your area (NZ-wide or your city, e.g. Auckland) and then look for sellers. Sellers can set their own price, so it pays to shop around. But just like TradeMe, sometimes the lowest price isn’t necessarily the best – the risk for scams here is higher than the other two options I presented.
Different sellers will also have different processes for actually completing the sale and BTC deposit process, so be wary of this!
Here’s another video I just recorded on the subject:
Basically, all that remains now is to see whether the news page updates are telling the truth (and Coinsmarkets will come back after moving domain and hosting) or if this is all just a stalling tactic.
As anyone who frequents this humble blog knows, I’m almost as interested in cryptocurrency as I am in digital marketing.
I’ve been a bit slack of late when it comes to reviewing cryptocurrency-related services (I guess interest in the crypto markets as a whole took a big dive, along with the market cap/prices, earlier in the year).
However, I recently wanted to cash out a small amount of Bitcoin – just a few hundred dollars. I’m a firm believer in locking in profits from time to time.
Unfortunately, cashing out in New Zealand isn’t as easy as it has been in the past:
Xapo Card stopped working mid last year. I don’t know if there are any other “Bitcoin ATM Cards” that are even supported in New Zealand.
Any option for securing an online/virtual Bitcoin-backed card looked very dodgy indeed. I’d rather not cash out at all than those it on some scam.
Cryptopia no longer support NZDT withdrawals, so that pathway is gone, at least for the immediate future.
There are a few other NZ-based services around, but I decided to try one that I had been meaning to use for a while – Local Bitcoins.
In this Local Bitcoins review, I’ll share my experiences with using the platform.
What Is Local Bitcoins
The site is an “over the counter” platform for buying and selling Bitcoin. Basically, instead of acting like a regular exchange, you are simply getting access to a platform that allows sellers and buyers to come together and work out their own deals.
Things I Like About Local Bitcoins
Easy to get set up.
Easy to assess credentials of buyers/sellers.
Things I Don’t Like About Local Bitcoins
Pricing isn’t the best.
Risk for fraud/scams.
Overall, I found the process of selling Bitcoin through Local Bitcoins to be straightforward and easy.
Within an hour of initiating the transaction, I had the money in my account.
Of course, with any “peer to peer” platform like this, you are always somewhat at the whims of what the person on the other end of the deal is like. My trade partner was reasonably polite and helpful, so no complaints there.
All things being considered, I will probably use Local Bitcoins again in the future and would recommend it to others. I haven’t yet tried buying anything through the platform, but when I get around to this I’ll be sure to update my review.
Further update – Cryptopia appears to have re-opened user registrations. If you want to register get in quick before they close the door again! I suspect this will happen if volume picks up. Go here to register. Also, LTC base market trading will resume in the near future on a subdomain – ltc.cryptopia.com or similar. You’ll need an account to do this.
Having checked my Google Analytics stats and discovered that this review is getting a lot of people reading it, I decided it would be prudent of me to post a bit of an update about what has happened with Cryptopia over the past few days (really since start of 2019).
Start by watching my quick VLOG on the subject:
Here are my thoughts. Please note I’m not an expert on cryptocurrency and why events like this occur, so do your own research if you want to know more.
What has happened? Cryptopia has halted all trading in cryptos that are traded in LTC or DOGE pairs. e.g. LTC/XRY (Royalties). Trading in NZDT pairs had also been halted, although I believe this halt has lifted. There are also significant delays reported by many users for depositing cryptocurrency and NZ dollars.
Why has it happened? Cryptopia have stated that the cause of this has basically been due to an enormous surge in volume (both user registrations and trading activity). This is largely due to a recent surge in trading volume, price and marketcap for “low value” coins that are traded on Cryptopia, often using LTC or DOGE pairs. A good example of this is Paccoin. Basically Paccoin started pumping a bit, and as it rose (and especially because $100 would have bought you about 5 million PAC just before Christmas) a huge surge of people wanted to chase the pump. 24hr volume went from around $30k USD on Christmas eve to over $40 MILLION USD less than a week later. This absurd rise in activity- multiplied across many different cryptos, most of which are primarily traded on Cryptopia – basically caused too much traffic and trade volume for their platform to handle!
Have we been scammed? Is Cryptopia legit? I don’t believe so. Cryptopia is based in the same city as me (although I have no ties to the company beyond having met some of their team at a business function a few months ago). They have a legitimate office, many staff – although obviously not enough – and are a properly registered NZ business. The names of key founders and staff are publicly accessible unlike many of the shadier exchanges. There has been a good amount of honest communication on their website and Twitter. I honestly believe that they simply weren’t prepared for the carnage that all these low market cap coin “moon missions” has unleashed in the crypto space. People have seen the impressed 500, 1000, 2000, even 5000% gains (probably all pump and dumps) and money and volume has been flowing in like crazy. Just look at CoinMarketCap Gainers & Losers and see how many low marketcap coins have pumped massive percentages recently … the huge influx of money is just looking for quick gains and exchanges like Cryptopia weren’t prepared for the onslaught. Other exchanges I use, such as Coinsmarkets, have also gone down due to volume scaling issues. Although in the case of Coinsmarkets that is looking more and more like the downtime is actually an exit scam! Other notable exchanges like Binance and Bittrex have even suspended new user registrations.
When will LTC and DOGE marketing trading be back? No idea – your guess is as good as mine. It might be days, or it could potentially even be weeks or months.
Why can’t Cryptopia cycle LTC/DOGE with BTC (i.e. block one off and swap to the other for say 1 day each on rotation)? I’ve seen this concept floated a number of times on the Cryptopia subreddit and Twitter posts. My understanding is that Cryptopia won’t do this because a) they will be swamped with excess volume of low value trades again when LTC/DOGE is on, b) most of Cryptopia’s trade fees are earned through BTC pairs and therefore the priority is keeping BTC markets functioning. See official Cryptopia tweet below for details:
Is this legal? I imagine this kind of outage would all be covered by the terms and conditions Cryptopia apply on user signup. Also, despite people trading real money for cryptocurrency, there is currently very little protection under law as you would expect if something like your bank or share market went down for an undisclosed period of time. I am not a lawyer, however.
What should I do now? Sit tight and wait. If you’re trading in cryptos that are only paired in DOGE or LTC on Cryptopia then there’s not much you can do. I believe you can withdraw them to a wallet by cancelling any market orders you have … but let’s be honest nobody was buying anything like Paccoin because they truly believed in the tech and future of it – it’s all about chasing the pump and trying to get out before the music stops with a healthy profit. Storing your coins on an exchange, although it is risky (just talk to any Coinsmarket user), provides a much faster way of liquidating in the event of a “moon mission”.
One of my favorite things to cover here on Reviews Boss is products and services related to Bitcoin/cryptocurrency.
With every passing week I find myself more and more interested in crypto. It really is a cool space, even beyond the potential for massive riches (or losses) through the trading of individual coins and tokens. Blockchain technology is simply the future – although it is my humble opinion that
However, truth be told I’m primarily interested in making sick gains from crypto and hopefully getting on the next moon mission to Lamboland.
In the past I had been buying crypto from NZ using two services:
However, We Sell Crypto is dead and buried. My Bitcoin Saver (another NZ-based service) shut down temporarily a few months ago. It’s back now and I use it every week, but during that downtime I had to find another way to get my cryptocurrency fix.
Cryptopia is a cryptocurrency exchange, based in New Zealand.
Basically, it allows you to buy, sell and temporarily store a variety of crypto currencies.
For New Zealanders, Cryptopia has unique appeal. Firstly, because it’s local. Secondly, it offers something called “NZDT”. This is basically a cryptocurrency that has a 1:1 value with the New Zealand Dollar. So 1 NZDT = 1 NZ Dollar. What you can do with NZDT is purchase directly with NZ dollars via bank transfer, and then you’ll receive an equivalent amount of NZDT in your Cryptopia account. You can then trade this on the NZDT/BTC market on the exchange.
Although this is a bit convoluted, it is probably the fastest way to turn NZD into BTC without horrific fees.
How Much Does It Cost?
A Cryptopia account is free. You can register here. However, depending on the volume/value of transactions you do, you may need to provide some personal information for ID verification purposes.
Cryptopia also earns from shaving off small transactions fees when you make trades.
Things I like About Cryptopia:
New Zealand-based company – As a Kiwi I always love to support local businesses where possible. In fact, Cryptopia is just located down the road from where I live (I’m going to be visiting their offices in the next few weeks as well, as I met some of the team at a recent event).
Real people behind it with a growing team – As mentioned above, I have personally met members of the Cryptopia team in real life. Their team is also rapidly growing in size, up to about 20 full-time equivalent employees now.
Easy enough to use – Compared to some of the more complex exchanges like EtherDelta, Cryptopia is easy to use. It looks, feels and functions like most other exchanges, and it’s easy enough to place both market-price sell and buy orders, as well as specify your own prices.
NZDT – For New Zealanders looking to invest in crypto, the NZDT system is very handy. Yes, the liquidity isn’t brilliant but it is one of the fastest ways to turn NZ dollars into BTC without having to pay terrible fees for buying with a credit card. It’s useful for those time-sensitive “buy the dip” opportunities that are rife in crypto. It also provides a mechanism for withdrawing money back to an NZ-based bank account.
Good variety of crypto currencies on offer – In fact, Cryptopia has one of the most diverse ranges of cryptos to play with. Lots of low market cap, low value coins make their debut appearance here, alongside mid-tier and top-tier cryptos. Sometimes Cryptopia has been criticized for allowing too many poor quality coins to list. However, a free marketeer would argue that you aren’t compelled to buy any particular coin, so DYOR before purchasing! If you get the right low cap coin on Cryptopia early enough, then you might well make a nice packet.
Things I Dislike About Cryptopia
Interface could do with improving – It’s not the best looking website in the world, with muted colors and a slightly early-days-of-broadband-Internet vibe. However, I have assurances from the Cryptopia employees I met that they are looking at releasing a new-and-improved public facing website (including exchange interface) in the near future.
Better marketing/branding required – The exchange itself looks ugly and a bit home-brewed. The site is very busy and you could be forgiven for thinking it was cooked up on an old version of Microsoft Frontpage. While the actual usage side of things is easy (because it functions like almost every other exchange out there in the crypto space) the “aesthetics” of the site and its branding aren’t the best. Better branding would help grow the platform and allow it to become a top tier exchange.
Need to build trust – I frequent a number of different crypto trading and investing boards (including the notorious /biz on 4chan). Many users on these boards have a negative view of Cryptopia, primarily because it is seen as the home of the “shitcoin” – low market cap, low volume, low price cryptos, most of which will never go anywhere. However, I think this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. That being said, Cryptopia need to do work to build trust in their platform!
Cryptopia Review Conclusion
Overall, I quite like Cryptopia. I can see why it gets mixed reviews from users in the crypto space – it doesn’t have the prettiest interface, and because of their less-than-stellar marketing the whole brand can come across as a bit amateurish.
However, having personally met members of the Cryptopia team I can say that they are a genuine bunch of people who are working hard to develop a good platform in a very difficult space.
NB: Nothing on this website constitutes financial advice. Trading/investing in cryptocurrency carries significant risk, and the owner of this site accepts zero responsibility for any negative effects that trading/investing in any cryptocurrency on any platform may have on your personal or business finances. Always consult with a financial services professional before making any investment decisions.
I’ve been posting a bit recently about the coinsmarkets.com scam exchange that went offline about 3 weeks ago, including some videos on YouTube etc.
My first video was this:
My second video talked about the high likelihood that we are facing a so-called “exit scam”:
In the past ~12 hours, there has been an update posted on the coinsmarkets.com news section. Because the site is still having downtime issues, I’ve copied it below for you to read for yourself:
“COINSMARKET EXCHANGE UPDATE
First let us explain what is coinsmarkets , we are based on 2 investor , 1 admin , 1 coder , 2 senior support and 4 general support .
In November last year 1 of senior support left the team , It is hard enough to hire a new one , this work is based on a lot of trust , so we still waiting for correct condidat .
Now let’s move to the issue , in December we experienced a lot of new users and huge volume , we were ready for double or even triple volume but in our case it was 10x +. From here all kind of problem start with servers , Now add to that the last senior support remaining have some family issue and was forced to be off most of the time . In addition to all that there was some db corruption issue we faced due to the overload and later hosting issue. So a lot of work to do with a lot of missing stuff.
Please understand that in exchange you can’t just go and hire someone and trust him millions of dollars .
We are sorry for lack of comunication about issue we have thought that people already trust us enough , and we invested 100% of time in restoring the site . Now issue with hosting , hosting complained about a lot of fraud report from users about our service . We find this really hard to explain , it is clear that not even a single coin has moved from our wallets , and once again we are here to stay , We have not even released 10% of our road map , there is a lot of new future to be added in the nearest future.
A week ago we started negoation with new host that can accept similar service , we initiated the move , The Database was fixed yesterday night . Now remain to setup new servers , few fix here and there and service will be restored , We write our news only in coinsmarkets news section , any twitter , chat msg etc is a scam , Again Official Coinsmarkets message are written only in coinsmarkets news section .(edited)”
What Does This Mean?
At this stage, I’m not too sure. I can see that bitcointalk.org and other forums are abuzz with people talking about this latest update. There are two camps of people:
The first (whom I consider either to be a bit naive, or otherwise paid shills) are those claiming that this singular, poorly-worded update is definitive proof that we all have nothing to worry about, and that coinsmarkets.com is definitely coming back, that anyone who thinks otherwise is a “FUDder” (my least favorite term in the world – having legitimate concerns about a platform or cryptocurrency is not FUD, it’s common sense)
The second are those – like me – who believe that this is probably a “smoke screen” put up to distract people and put them off the scent, hoping that eventually people will just give up on chasing it. There is still no timeline, no real apology, no images or videos of the devs working hard trying to put everything back together. After all this time, to put out such an amateurish statement with no supporting evidence does not do much to fill me with confidence.
Even if coinsmarkets.com does miraculously come back online, there is no guarantee you’ll be able to get your deposits out.
Firstly, the flood of traffic all trying to do the same thing will almost certainly crash the server again. Secondly, I find it highly unlikely that such a poorly-run exchange is likely to have in storage all the deposits it claims to have. Sure, your wallet balance might show 100,000 ECA – but do they actually have that 100,000 ECA if everyone decides to withdraw at once? Seeing as physical banks with huge amounts of regulation and government support do not have enough money to cover all depositors looking to withdraw at once (if my high school economics class memory serves me right) I see it as being highly likely that the exchange would just fold.
What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!
Also, if you’re new to cryptocurrency investing and want to get a concise and effective “quick start” guide, then I recommend this book – Cryptocurrency Investing Bible. It’s available on Amazon for less than the price of a cup of coffee (for the Kindle edition). It’s well worth checking out to get a sound grounding in key crypto investing concepts. Click here to check out the book.