South Africa is indeed an interesting country when it comes to cryptocurrency. This has now being confirmed by a recent survey that asked a range of tech-savvy South Africans about their Bitcoin habits. These are also quite surprising as they are vastly different from the habits in other countries.
For example, although the majority of South Africans own some cryptocurrency, the median amount that the citizens own is between 0-R5,000 ($370). This shows that while they may be adopting the idea, they are also quite risk averse.
The Forefront of Africa
While Bitcoin is being greeted with suspicion in a number of countries, South Africa would indeed appear as a crypto friendly region. For example, the finance minister expressed positive sentiments about Bitcoin and a large retailer started carrying out tests for recieving payments in Bitcoin.
The minister in question, Malusi Gigaba, said that he sees a lot of potential for cryptocurrencies in the South African market. Similarly, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has implemented a number of regulation frameworks for early stage crypto startups to operate. This was done to test the practicality of cryptocurrency use in South Africa.
South Africa is also leading the way with some interesting startups in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space. For example, it holds the largest exchange in Africa, Luno that is increasing volume every month. There is also a startup called Custos Tech that is aiming to reduce online piracy through blockchain solutions.
These developements are no mistake. A recent study of Google search results showed that South Africa had the most searched for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency related queries per capita than any other country.
It is not just for savings and currency hedge purposes that South Africans are interested in Bitcoin. Pick n Pay, one of the country’s largest retailers was testing the viability of accepting payments at their tills accross the country.
Look at Survery Findings
The survey was conducted by interviewing 1,598 people accross the country. They asked these people how many of them held cryptocurrency and how much each of them held. The findings showed that although 54% of people held cryptocurrency, 44% of this group held less than R5,000 (c. $370).
Another 20.65% of this group said they held between R10,000 and R50,000. Surprisingly, only about 3% of the group held more than R500k in cryptocurrency (c. $38k).
Although this does point to a more risk averse climate in South Africa, the survey did find that a large majority intend to invest more of their savings over the coming year into cryptocurrencies. This was probably as a result of the volatility and unreliability of the local currency.
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