Cryptopia Enters Liquidation – What Cryptopia Alternatives are Left in NZ?

Cryptopia is no more. On May 15th, 2019, it was announced that New Zealand’s best-known cryptocurrency exchange was entering liquidation. All Cryptopia trading and account access is suspended indefinitely. Here, we’ll explain why Cryptopia is no more. More Importantly, we’ll also look at ways to continue to buy cryptocurrency in NZ, despite Cryptopia’s downfall.

Cryptopia homescreen image

The Cryptopia Hack & Closure Explained

On January 15th, 2019, Cryptopia revealed that a hack on its servers had taken place 18-hours earlier. This hack had resulted in the theft of cryptocurrency assets worth over $16 million.

In months following the Cryptopia hack, Cryptopia was unable to recoup these losses. After briefly reopening in April, Cryptopia was, therefore, forced into liquidation on May 15th.

Stack of gold bitcoins in front of the New Zealand flag

How to Buy Cryptocurrency in NZ in the Post-Cryptopia Era

Notable cryptocurrency developers like Dan Larimer, argue that all centralized cryptocurrency exchanges can be hacked. This means that any investor who stores coins on exchanges puts their coins at risk by doing so. Thankfully, though, it is still possible to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies 100% safely.

  • Short and long-term investors should always move coins off exchanges after purchase, into personal cryptocurrency wallets
  • Offline paper wallets and Nano Ledger and Trezor cold storage wallets, are the safest way to store cryptocurrencies

What Crypto Exchanges in NZ are Left After Cryptopia?

Easy Crypto homepage GIF

Easy Crypto

From a security standpoint, Easy Crypto stands as one of the best remaining places to buy cryptocurrency safely in New Zealand.

Cryptopia was a trading platform based exchange. Users had to, therefore, buy and deposit Bitcoin, before they could use deposits to buy different altcoins. By comparison, Easy Crypto allows users to buy Bitcoin and top cryptocurrency market altcoins directly using a New Zealand dollar payment gateway.

Easy Crypto Portfolio Tracker GIF

As soon as New Zealand dollar payments are processed, Easy Crypto delivers cryptocurrencies directly to user private wallets. Alternatively, Easy Crypto can create a wallet for a new user and deliver this via email. Coins are never stored on Easy Crypto exchange servers. Because of this, user funds cannot be hacked like on Cryptopia.

Easy Crypto Benefits

  • Buy or sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, and top cryptocurrency market altcoins for the best rates in Australasia
  • Easy Crypto accounts can be verified in under 2-minutes
  • Coins arrive in customer wallets within 2-minutes of payments being confirmed
  • Buy Bitcoin in NZ using POLi instant pay or bank transfer
  • Easy Crypto is the only cryptocurrency broker in New Zealand to have a 100% funds safety guarantee.

Local Bitcoins Homepage screenshot

Local Bitcoins

Local Bitcoins is a peer to peer Bitcoin exchange based out of Helsinki. Despite not being based in New Zealand, many Kiwis looking at how to buy cryptocurrency in NZ still use Local Bitcoins. This is because Local Bitcoins supports a wide variety of alternative payment options.

Local Bitcoins Payment Options Include:

  • PayPal
  • Prepaid credit cards
  • Amazon gift cards
  • Direct bank transfers
  • Money orders
  • Physical cash exchanged in person with traders

Looking at Local bitcoins homepage with a magnifying glass image

Local Bitcoins Dangers

Local Bitcoins is popular with underbanked Kiwis who are unable to use regulated exchanges like Easy Crypto. However, this can increases risks associated with fraud and even personal identity theft.

  • The Bitcoin price on Local Bitcoins is typically 20% – 50% higher than the Bitcoin price listed on reputable international exchanges
  • People selling Bitcoin will often ask for copies of identity documents. Trading can, therefore, expose users to risks associated with identity theft
  • Scams on Local Bitcoins are commonplace, especially when selling Bitcoin

Meeting Local Bitcoins traders in person can also be dangerous. For this reason, using Local Bitcoins to buy Bitcoin should always be a last resort.

Vimba homepage screenshot


Vimba is a New Zealand and UK based cryptocurrency exchange, which is similar to Easy Crypto. Like at Easy Crypto, Vimba users can buy Bitcoin and several altcoins and have coins deposited directly to private wallets. With Vimba, though, users can also set up recurring cryptocurrency purchases.

As an exchange and cryptocurrency savings platform, Vimba encourages users to set up recurring weekly and monthly payments. Many see this as an easy way to incrementally invest in cryptocurrency. However, investing in this way can see the buying power of the New Zealand dollar diminish when coins like Bitcoin rise rapidly in value.

bitprime homepage screenshot


Based in Christchurch NZ, BitPrime, like Easy Crypto, is a cryptocurrency broker that sends and receives cryptocurrency to and from its users own private wallets. No funds are stored on Bitprime servers, so there is no risk of losing anything if Bitprime gets hacked.

Listing over 60 cryptocurrencies, BitPrime also offers personal support on getting set up and understanding crypto and blockchain. Personal support packages start at $110

You can see a review of all NZ cryptocurrency exchanges here.

Bitcoins to NZD or NZD to Bitcoin image

In Summary

The demise of Cryptopia has shaken confidence in New Zealand cryptocurrency exchanges. However, more secure places to buy Bitcoin in NZ like Easy Crypto existed before the 2019 Cryptopia hack. This being the case, New Zealanders can still buy Bitcoin and other coins safely, minus high fees at international exchanges like Coinbase.