BitPrime is a business that operates in an emerging financial sector. As such, we take our legal and regulatory obligations seriously so as to establish a good reputation with both regulators and the customers that we serve. A significant component of these legal and regulatory obligations is ongoing compliance with the AML/CFT Act. BitPrime’s compliance programme was prepared by AML Solutions and includes a verification component. The verification procedure is a vital part of our operation and is often the first interaction that we have with customers. We are continually working to improve the customer experience in this area while planning ahead concerning upcoming regulatory changes.
What is AML/CFT?
The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML/CFT Act) places obligations on all of New Zealand’s financial institutions including BitPrime. The act serves to protect the integrity and reputation of New Zealand businesses as well as guard against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The purpose of the Act as stated in section three is:
- to detect and deter money laundering and the financing of terrorism
- to maintain and enhance New Zealand’s international reputation by adopting, where appropriate in the New Zealand context, recommendations issued by the Financial Action Task Force
- to contribute to public confidence in the financial system.
Additionally, the Act facilitates co-operation amongst reporting entities, AML/CFT supervisors, and various government agencies, in particular law enforcement and regulatory agencies.
More information can be found at the links below
Verification, sometimes called “know your customer” (KYC) is one of BitPrimes requirements under the Act. Bitrpime operates using a two-tiered system outlined below.
Tier 1. Verification
All customers are required to complete the Tier 1 verification process by filling out an application and providing four photos for verifying their identity. BitPrime collects information on the applicant regarding their name, date of birth, physical address, phone number, occupation and employment status, a registered bank account, who the intended cryptocurrency is being purchased for, and the purpose for buying cryptocurrency.
Each applicant is required to provide a close-up ID photo, which can be a New Zealand drivers licence, firearms license or passport. Secondly, a photo of the applicant holding their ID for comparison. Thirdly, a photo of the applicant holding a piece of paper with the date, time and ‘BitPrime’ written on it to acknowledge that the customer is knowingly applying for an account to buy or sell cryptocurrency. Lastly, we ask for a document dated within the last three months of the application as proof of address, typically in the form of a bank statement, utility bill or government or local council letter. We also complete an online presence check to ensure that the customer is not involved in multi-level-marketing, affiliate, Ponzi schemes or other types of groups that may compromise BitPrime’s reputation.
Each application is checked by a member of the Compliance team and needs to be manually approved before a customer is on-boarded. Successful completion of the tier one verification grants the customer a transaction limit of $10,000 per day, or $25,000 per thirty days (rolling window). Unsuccessful applicants will not be able to buy and sell on our platform. To prevent people from artificially tailoring applications BitPrime does not give any reasoning regarding the outcome of a verification request. Lastly, resubmissions will generate the same result.
Tier 2. Enhanced Verification
Customers wanting to increase their transaction limits beyond $10,000 per day, or $25,000 per thirty days need to apply for enhanced verification. This applies to customers both buying and selling cryptocurrency. We require documentation proving the source of wealth in either NZD or cryptocurrency to ensure there is no unlawful behaviour involved. Transaction limits are increased on a case-by-case basis.
Trusts and Companies
We are able to provide accounts for companies and trusts. The type of customer determines the verification process. Please email us at Hello@Bitprime.co.nz if you have any questions.
We are currently working to automate tier one verifications which will speed up the onboarding/verification process for new customers. Tier two verifications will still require consideration on a case by case basis.
We take an active approach in transaction and account monitoring. This happens behind the scenes and generally will not impact customers in the day to day use of our site. We are a registered reporting body with the Police FIU (Financial Intelligence Unit) and have taken steps to reduce the need for prescribed transaction reporting by strictly excluding certain types of payments that would commonly need be reported.
Internal AML Policy
A full-length version of our internal AML policy is available to regulators and law enforcement upon request.