According to Yeuki Kusangaya of Zimbabwe-based bitcoin exchange Golix, an increasing number of Zimbabweans are adopting bitcoin as a means to access a variety of international markets. The increasing popularity of bitcoin combined with significant liquidity issues have led to heavily inflated prices in the African nation, with a single bitcoin currently trading for approximately $9900 USD on Golix.
A Single Bitcoin Is Trading for Nearly $10,000 USD in Zimbabwe
Yeukai Kasangaya, a representative of Golix, has discussed the growing bitcoin adoption that is taking place in Zimbabwe. Golix rebranded from BitFinance on the 1st of October this year, a decision that was prompted by the company’s belief that “bitcoin will not be the only digital currency that succeeds,” according to Golix CEO, Tawanda Kembo.
Mrs. Kasangaya recently told local media that “the general trend shows an increase in interest in the bitcoin,” describing such as the “normal upward-growth trajectory of most innovations.” Due in large part to the financial crises brought about by ongoing cash shortages and hyperinflation that has crippled large parts of Zimbabwe’s economy, Mrs. Kasangaya reports that the majority of transactions on Golix occur electronically.
“It is not necessary to have cash to buy bitcoin. Most people just use the generally available electronic means. As such, the buying of bitcoin is not affected by the prevailing cash shortages… in the event that a seller wants cash for bitcoin, they will have to identify such a buyer with cash on their own and do a peer to peer trade.”
Zimbabwean Citizens Turn to Bitcoin
Mrs. Kasangaya states that Zimbabwean citizens are adopting bitcoin in order to access a variety of international markets. “Some use it to pay for services provided outside the country, such as software. For example, a local software engineer developing an app can use bitcoin to pay for necessary software tools. Others use bitcoin to, say, import a car they can use to run a small business …. The good news with using bitcoin for such purposes is that no foreign currency leaves the country, unlike a situation where the same person was to ask their bank to do a telegraphic transfer… [which] reduces the country’s pressure on nostro balances.”
Speaking to Quartz last week, Mrs. Kasangaya said that “there is currently more demand than supply of bitcoins… Interest in bitcoin has peaked as people cannot send money outside or pay for international transactions using formal banks. People have had to look for alternatives and bitcoin has been a useful solution which can be used to purchase goods on Amazon or to pay for vehicles from international suppliers and traders.”
Do you think that the price of bitcoin in Zimbabwe will come to relative parity with prices in other markets? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Golix
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