New Zealand’s ministry of commerce and consumer affairs have warned the country leaders against keeping a slow approach on cryptocurrencies. In a recent development, minister Andrew Bayly has asked the Australian government to finalise its stance on crypto before it’s too late. This is the time that the crypto sector is just setting its roots in friendly countries and ushering job as well as business opportunities there. In places like the UK, the UAE, the US, South Korea, and India, the Web3 sector is being rapidly adopted.

Bayly, the minister of commerce and consumer affairs in New Zealand has expressed concerns that the country’s ‘wait and see’ approach is snubbing its growth in the sectors of fintech, gaming, blockchain, and more.

In 2021, the Cabinet Legislation Committee had launched a crypto inquiry initiative. Citing findings from which, Bayly is suggesting the government to become more pro-active in its approach towards crypto.

“The cryptocurrency inquiry centres are of the view that New Zealand should take a more proactive and innovation-friendly approach to digital assets and blockchain (including cryptocurrencies). I therefore consider that the Government’s approach to digital assets should support industry development, whilst continuing to consider appropriate policy to manage these risks,” Bayly noted in a published coversheet. 

In 2022, data from the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) had said roughly 10 percent of New Zealand citizens, about 324,000 people, reportedly owned crypto assets. The stats showing how many people in New Zealand hold cryptocurrency has not officially been updated by the country since December 2022, it seems.

The country has not set in place any legal rules to oversee or regulate the crypto sector either. Not only does this keep the country’s crypto sector open for exploitation by miscreants, but also leaves the sector open to facilitate unlawful activities like money laundering and terror financing.

“The Committee launched the Scams Inquiry in 2022 following several high profile cases of digital and online scams which led to victims losing millions of dollars. The Committee was concerned about the impact these scams have on victims’ lives and wanted to understand how banking processes in New Zealand could better protect consumers,” Bayly’s coversheet added.

Overall, the minister has urged the government of New Zealand to take a pro-active approach towards exploring digital assets and blockchain. In addition, the country has also been advised to facilitate more public debate and to prompt further consideration and work by the government to ensure New Zealand is well placed to adapt to the opportunities, challenges, and risks associated with digital assets.

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