Bitcoin FAQs

What is the legal status of Bitcoin in New Zealand?

Bitcoin is completely legal to use, buy, and sell in New Zealand. In fact the NZ Government and IRD already provide tax advice to businesses who accept Bitcoin or pay their staff in Bitcoin.

Aren't there many "cryptocurrencies"?

It is important to understand the difference between Bitcoin and “Crypto”. There are some off-shoot digital cash systems, some use the word "Bitcoin" in their names. But Bitcoin itself is the original peer-to-peer digital cash system first launched in 2009. Bitcoin is the only one that has the ability to handle customer-to-merchant payments at scale.

Do I have to pay tax on Bitcoin income?

Yes, If you receive Bitcoin as business income then you will have to pay GST and income tax just the same as if you were receiving dollars.

See IRD Cryptoassets guidance

What about all these hacks and exchanges going bust?

If you leave your Bitcoin on an exchange or leave it with any 3rd party your funds are at risk. If you hold your own Bitcoin in your own Bitcoin wallet your funds are much safer.

See this guide for intro-level information about long term secure Bitcoin storage

Isn’t the price of Bitcoin volatile?

In the short term, the value of Bitcoin can fluctuate a lot, but over time its price trends upwards.Furthermore, the short term volatility of the Bitcoin price has been falling over time as more people are using it.

How do I know the amount to charge?

You can select a New Zealand Dollar amount to receive, and your Bitcoin Lightning Wallet will automatically generate an invoice for that amount of Bitcoin.

What is the difference between Bitcoin onchain vs Bitcoin Lightning?

You can always receive Bitcoin on-chain direct to a wallet that you can control. Bitcoin via Lightning though is much more popular for retail and consumer transactions.Think of Lightning as similar to cash or PayWave in terms of ease of use and speed, where as on-chain is more like sending an armoured truck with a focus on security.Many wallets support Lightning and Onchain. Talk with us to understand the differences.

How can I support tourists and international customers?

Bitcoin is ideal for businesses that cater to tourists or international customers. Globally Bitcoin is a popular means of payment and for people visiting New Zealand international card charges and foreign exchange fees can be prohibitively expensive. By accepting Bitcoin payments you can remove this barrier and also prevent chargebacks happening.

How do I integrate with my point of sale (POS) system?

Everyone’s point of sale setup will be different. There are a few different wallet & app options to help you at Point of Sale (Learn more on the Get Started page). For reconciliation you may choose to simply mark Bitcoin payments as cash payments, or you may mark them as a voucher, or under a tab account. Some point of sale systems already support Bitcoin out of the box.

What if my business relies on invoicing?

You can create a normal invoice and include a Bitcoin lightning payment invoice or on-chain address as a QR code.

What if I want a dedicated Point of Sale unit?

If you would like to do higher-volume sales you may want to consider a dedicated mobile phone or tablet just for receiving bitcoin payments. There are apps such as Breez that have built in POS functionality that is ideal for using with staff or having available at the point of sale.

How do I train my staff?

Using Bitcoin Lightning Wallets such as Breez or Wallet of Satoshi in “Point of Sale” mode is perfect for staff to use. Some apps also enable a Manager Password to protect the send function to ensure your funds remain in the wallet until you’re ready to move them.

How do I let the world know I am accepting Bitcoin?

Tell us about your business and we will list it on for you. We will also share your business with the NZ Bitcoin Community on social media.

How do I know once an invoice has been paid?

Once you receive a payment your wallet app will notify you that it has been paid. Bitcoin via Lightning is instant and final as soon as it pays, Bitcoin on-chain should be treated as confirmed after 3 confirmations. If you aren’t sure then the Breez wallet app has a past transactions list that can be viewed and exported.

How do I store my Bitcoin for the long term?

Bitcoin via Lightning is great for receiving Bitcoin, but if you want to hold it for a longer period, you have a number of great options. You can transfer Bitcoin held on a Lighting Wallet to an on-chain Bitcoin address that only you have access to. First, you’ll want to make sure you hold your Bitcoin in self-custody. This ensures you have full control of your funds. Bitcoin is not only money built for the internet era, but is an asset that you can control for yourself, with no third party permission required to save or spend. You can do this very simply with a bitcoin wallet like BlueWallet on a mobile device. If you’re holding on to more bitcoin than you’d normally carry in-person in cash, you might also consider cold storage on a dedicated Bitcoin hardware device such as a Blockstream Jade or Cold Card.

Can I pay my employees in Bitcoin?

Some businesses have allowed their employees to take some of their pay in Bitcoin. If you provide Bitcoin to your employees, you will need to account for PAYE or FBT on these payments.

IRD explains paying employees in Bitcoin in more detail.

Still have questions?

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We are dedicated to helping merchants in New Zealand build their business and reduce payment costs by accepting Bitcoin.
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