A two-way Bitcoin ATM in Auckland, New Zealand was unexpectedly shut down by its operator, Bitcoin Central, after the latter was unable to secure banking services. The operator wrote on its site:
“Unfortunately, despite complying with all the legal requirements we have been unable to secure banking facilities. Without these the Bitcoin ATM business cannot operate long term. The negativity from the banking sector to Bitcoin also threatens the ATM owner’s other businesses. For me it is prudent to shut the ATM down.”
Others in the country’s Bitcoin community have also reportedly encountered trouble with banking services. In neighboring Australia, National Australia Bank told customers dealing in bitcoins that their accounts will be shut down. In an April letter, the bank told clients that their activities pose “an unacceptable level of risk.”
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The incident in New Zealand comes at a time of potentially greater appeal for Bitcoin. New Zealand’s dollar declined 0.6% today vs USD to $0.8496, its lowest level in 7 weeks. The kiwi has still gained vs USD over the past 5 years though. The recent decline was largely due to foreseen weakness in the country’s dairy sector, which drives one third of the country’s exports.