- Crypto exchanges in New Zealand have been told to hand over user details to the tax authorities
- Personal information and portfolio values are being sought by the Inland Revenue Department
- Crypto exchanges are facing more and more scrutiny as regulations get tighter
Crypto exchanges in New Zealand have been told to hand over customer details and the values of their cryptocurrency portfolios in a move that has shocked privacy advocates. The country’s tax authority, the Inland Revenue Department (IRD), has made the request as part of a wider clampdown on cryptocurrency use in the country, following the issuance of new taxation guidelines earlier this month.
IRD Targets Crypto Exchanges
News of the request came via Radio New Zealand, who attributed the demand to a statement by the IRD in which they said that the aim was to “work out how best to help taxpayers meet their income tax obligations”. Presumably this is the same help that police officers afford bank robbers in order to help them meet their law abidance obligations.
The request itself is nothing new as this kind of thing goes on all over the world, but it is the public nature that has got crypto users and privacy advocates up in arms. One of these is Janine Grainger, CEO of Easy Crypto exchange, who told Radio New Zealand that the news was “heartbreaking”, although was a result of the IRD “just widening its net of the tax base”.
Privacy Under the Microscope
In conversation with Radio New Zealand, Grainger added that the request went against the principles of cryptocurrency:
Privacy is really important to us… one of the tenets [of] cryptocurrency in general is around having freedom and autonomy and privacy. While many people might think ‘I have nothing to hide therefore, what do I care?’ the point of privacy isn’t to aid people who have something to hide, it’s to ensure we have a fair, open and free society.
As cryptocurrency regulations get tougher, crypto exchanges will be more and more accountable to authorities, which means that instances such as this will become increasingly common around the world.