If you read crypto media, you may be under the impression that bitcoin plays a major role in helping cash-strapped Zimbabweans. The “bitcoin is saving Zimbabwe” story may sell but the reality of cryptocurrency adoption in the Southern African nation is quite different. In this article, you will discover the real story of bitcoin in Zimbabwe told by a local journalist.
Zimbabwe’s deteriorating socio-political environment is widely blamed on the mismanagement of the country’s failing fiat currency and the standoff between the country’s main political parties. Since the August 2018 disputed elections, the country has witnessed a number of demonstrations that turned violent resulting in the destruction of property and loss of lives.
Introduced in 2016, the Zimdollar – which briefly traded at par with the USD – has depreciated by as much as 900 percent leading to an inevitable spike in inflation and the subsequent social unrest. While the government has suspended the announcement of inflation figures, John Hopkins University’s applied economics professor, Steve Hanke, currently estimates it to be 558 percent.
To compound matters for Zimbabweans, the government has since introduced different regulations that have essentially curtailed the use of foreign currency as a hedge against inflation. Zimbabwe has had a dollarised economy since 2009 but this was discontinued in June 2019 when a statutory instrument made it illegal to conduct local transactions in USD.
With the USD option now seemingly closed, Zimbabweans are now seeking other alternatives that shield earnings and savings from hyperinflation. Bitcoin would be such an option.
Bitcoin in Zimbabwe
In fact, to many people outside Zimbabwe, the aforementioned conditions make it seem logical for Zimbabweans to switch to bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general. So, have they embraced cryptocurrencies?
Indeed, local bitcoin trading has been growing but it is the extent of this growth that remains far from what some would expect.
Despite this narrative being overhyped by the global media, bitcoin use in Zimbabwe remains insignificant. The reasons for this lack of enthusiasm range from the usual challenges like price volatility, regulatory uncertainty as well as country-specific ones like the lack of reliable exchanges, ignorance, and limited internet access.
Cryptocurrencies are borderless and thus not subject to Zimbabwe’s stringent foreign exchange controls. Yet, the technology remains relatively a novel one to ordinary Zimbabweans. Few see it as a solution to the country’s long-running fiat currency troubles.
While there might be a general consensus when it comes to identifying the genesis of the country’s fiat currency troubles, the ensuing debate suggests that decentralised cryptocurrencies are not (yet) seen as a viable alternative.
Some economic experts including one of Zimbabwe’s most successful finance minister, Tendai Biti, believes the adoption of the South African rand as the best solution to attack the country’s currency problems. Cryptocurrency is generally seen as a far-fetched solution. Although, the current finance minister, Mthuli Ncube did talk up its potential soon after being appointed to the job.
Lack of Peer-to-Peer Exchanges Presence
It would seem that only a few Zimbabweans are aware that it was Golix, a crypto exchange, which briefly brought this crypto alternative to the country. Golix (previously known as Bitfinance) opened its doors to provide a bitcoin trading platform for local users. In early 2018, Golix stated that it has grown its userbase to over 50,000 and had experienced $20 million in transaction volume in the three years since its launch.
In fact, Golix managed to grow its platform and userbase and announced plans to expand into South Africa, Kenya, and Uganda after a successful ICO (initial coin offering) in 2018. However, during that year the country’s central bank issued a moratorium that essentially barred financial institutions from supporting cryptocurrency exchanges. Golix even had its Bitcoin ATM seized as authorities pushed back against cryptocurrencies prompting the exchange company to seek redress at the High Court.
The court did overturn the central bank’s decision in May 2018 but Golix ultimately decided to shelve its Zimbabwean exchange business. In spite of this setback, some Zimbabwe-based traders were unperturbed and continued trading. They simply circumvented local central bank regulations by conducting deals on foreign domiciled exchanges like LocalBitcoins, Paxful, Reminato, Coindirect, etc.
For example, on one of the world’s largest peer-to-peer bitcoin trading platform, LocalBitcoins, there are six offers for bitcoin in Zimbabwe, at the time of writing, with a total supply of less than $30,000 worth of BTC. On the bid side, there are six traders who are willing to purchase the crypto but it should be emphasized that some of these traders could be based outside Zimbabwe.
At the same time Paxful, which has managed to establish itself as one of the most popular peer-to-peer exchanges in Africa, does market bids and offers for Zimbabwe-based users. At first glance, there seems to be more activity in this Zimbabwean bitcoin market than on LocalBitcoins with dozens of listed advertisements. Closer inspection, however, shows that there are no cash in person, EcoCash or local bank transfer purchase options that local Zimbabweans would typically use to trade bitcoin. There are also no available advertisements for transactions in the Zimbabwean dollar (ZWL). Zimbabweans are seemingly not using the platform.
Other peer-to-peer exchanges with a presence in Africa include Coindirect, Remitano, and Cryptogem. However, all of them show little to no activity involving Zimbabwean traders.
Informal Crypto Trading Groups
Events of 2018 forced Zimbabwe-based crypto traders to use other platforms to facilitate crypto trading. Facebook, Whatsapp, and Telegram have since emerged as some of the popular platforms where buyers and sellers meet.
For instance, one such chat group has about 31 members but only five members traded over the past 31 days while the value traded did not exceed $2000 at the time of writing.
Interestingly, on August 15, 2019, when cryptocurrency prices dropped heavily, one trader posted that they were selling 25 BTC. Bemused group members apparently not accustomed to such amounts, responded by asking if the seller had possibly made a typo error when posting.
Nevertheless, it is also possible that the traded values could be higher between peers or in other groups to which this writer is not exposed to. BitcoinAfrica.io reached out to one member of Zimbabwe’s crypto community who – besides actually working for a blockchain startup – has been involved in this space for five years, three of which are on a full-time basis. The member who preferred to remain anonymous had this to say:
“Now that the bull run period is confirmed, we are seeing around 30-40k per day of new money entering into the crypto industry locally, with 95 percent plus of that being USD into bitcoin. Potentially, you could double that as we are not exposed to all the groups in Zimbabwe.”
Still, such traded values do not support the hype, which reached a zenith in July 2019, when one online crypto media outlet claimed Zimbabwean traders were paying up to $76,000 USD for one BTC! Of course, this was incorrect.
In activities seen in one chat group, Zimbabwean bitcoin buyers are asked to pay a small premium of between 5 and 10 percent on the global USD bitcoin price. Sellers can choose to receive funds in local ZWL through the mobile money application Ecocash. At the current exchange rate (1:10), a seller receiving funds in ZWL via Ecocash will get about $105,000 to $110,000, a figure that should not be confused with the USD. That is how most bitcoin trades are currently being conducted in Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, a case has consistently been made for the utility and cost-effectiveness of using cryptocurrencies when sending remittances. Zimbabwe, which has a sizeable Diaspora community, should naturally see more funds channeled via this route. However, statistics from the country’s central bank and other sources like the World Bank show that many Zimbabweans abroad still use formal money transfer agencies (MTA) like Western Union, Moneygram or Mukuru.com to send money home. Many more use informal channels but no one can really ascertain the values transferred therein as there is no reliable data.
It would seem Zimbabweans remain ignorant of the potential benefits of cryptocurrencies while the lack of a properly registered local crypto exchange remains a key deterrent to those interested in buying and using bitcoin.
The anonymous crypto enthusiast also added:
“Zimbabweans need a crypto application that is reliable, fungible, cheap and one that allows for swift transfer of funds. When such a platform becomes available, Zimbabweans will embrace cryptocurrencies in large numbers.”
Why Crypto’s Leading the Way in Africa’s Evolving Finance Landscape
Cryptocurrency adoption is on the rise throughout Africa. According to Chainalysis, the African crypto market is one of the fastest growing in the world, with an estimated $20 billion worth of transactions taking place per month. Meanwhile Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa are positioned in bitcoin.com top 10 global countries by Cryptocurrency Adoption.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the appeal of decentralised currencies in Africa and discuss how they’re leading the way in the continent’s ever-evolving finance landscape.
The Global Crypto Era
For several years now, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology have been having a transformative effect on various industries and markets across the globe. From the disruption of the gaming industry via the emergence of play-to-earn gaming and online casino with crypto deposit platforms to smart contracts that are being used everywhere, from healthcare to real estate, the impact is evident.
With the rise of the DeFi and GameFi sectors, it’s clear that the global crypto era is now in full swing, and it’s an industry that’s gaining noticeable traction across Africa. Approximately 1.2 million Africans now actively trade cryptocurrencies, with Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa leading the way. Decentralised crypto trading platforms like Paxful and LocalBitcoins bypass financial institutions and present new opportunities for residents to buy and sell crypto tokens.
In terms of which crypto tokens are leading the way in Africa, Bitcoin (BTC) holds the position of the most dominant digital currency, with a substantial user base and trading volume. BTC is accepted and used for various purposes, including remittances and as a store of value.
Altcoins, too, are becoming more widespread in the continent, particularly Ether (ETH) and Binance Coin (BNB). Ethereum’s smart contract capabilities have fuelled its growth in the region, providing a solution to developers for building DApps (decentralised applications) that address Africa-specific challenges.
Additionally, several homegrown cryptocurrencies have emerged in recent years that are tailored to the local needs of the region. The Akoin token (AKN), for example, was founded by musical artist and humanitarian Akon as a means of powering a digital financial ecosystem in those regions with limited access to traditional banking services.
The Appeal of Cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrencies offer several unique advantages, which, coupled with the economic stagnation still present in the continent, makes them particularly appealing to Africans.
One of the key drivers behind the burgeoning popularity of crypto in Africa is the lack of access to traditional financial services that many Africans still face. Many residents stay either unbanked or underbanked, excluding them from taking part in the global economy.
Decentralised currencies are gaining increased acceptance among the financially marginalised, particularly the low-income population, who have often been excluded from the banking system or had to face disproportionally high transaction costs. By their very nature, cryptocurrencies remove the need for traditional intermediaries, instead offering a borderless alternative that enables individuals to send and receive secure financial transactions instantly.
Currencies in countries such as Kenya and Nigeria have been damaged by decades of inflation, contributing to a surge in both economic and political instability. Cryptos hold the power to remedy financial exclusion and present an alternative to weak domestic currencies.
Unlike the more established traditional banking options in Africa, decentralised finance enables anyone with an internet connection and compatible device — smartphones included — to engage in a variety of financial transactions, from sending remittances to making investments. Crypto investing allows Africans to purchase and hold assets that will not be impacted by financial turbulence, such as rapid depreciation and ever-increasing inflation.
As mentioned above, cryptocurrencies are typically cheaper, easier to use and faster than conventional methods. The blockchain technology that eases peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions exists outside established fiat currency institutions, supplying a far more accessible and user-friendly solution.
Traditional remittance services are often slow, expensive and largely inaccessible to a significant portion of the African population. Digital currencies allow for frictionless cross-border transactions, meaning that individuals can send and receive money globally in a matter of minutes. Not only does this benefit individual consumers, but it also empowers African businesses and entrepreneurs, easing economic growth in the process.
A Lasting Impact
Given that Africa’s crypto ecosystem is still in an evolutionary stage, the popularity of decentralised currencies and blockchain applications will vary between countries and regions. Regulatory environments, infrastructure development and specific social-economic conditions can all influence the popularity and success of a crypto project. However, there’s no denying that the emergence of this industry has sparked a wave of innovation throughout many African countries.
Several blockchain-based startups have found innovative ways to leverage the potential of the technology to address the most prevalent socio-economic challenges. BitPesa is transforming the cross-border payments sector, while other startups have used blockchain tech to make supply chain management more transparent and even improve voting processes. By leapfrogging traditional infrastructures, decentralised currencies and technologies are proving to be the key to sustainable, long-term economic growth in Africa.
The Rise of Bitcoin in the Online Gaming World
Cryptocurrencies have disrupted traditional financial systems in recent years, and Bitcoin profiled itself as the most famous crypto. It has already found its way to e-commerce and investment, but this crypto is also present in the world of online gaming. In this article, we will explore the growing influence of Bitcoin in the online gaming world.
Bitcoin and Online Casinos
Thanks to Bitcoin’s integration into online casinos, players and operators now have a vast range of possibilities. With the use of Bitcoin, online casinos create another level of advantage over traditional payment options. Most of all, if you perform transactions in Bitcoin, they will be quicker and more efficient.
You can deposit or withdraw the funds within seconds without the need for complex verification processes or intermediaries. This makes the gaming experience smoother and more seamless for any player. Additionally, Bitcoin offers a higher level of privacy and security. We have already experienced how much financial and personal information traditional payment methods require.
Nevertheless, unlike them, Bitcoin transactions are pseudonymous, which means they provide players with greater anonymity. This privacy feature particularly appeals to those who value their online security and wish to enjoy online gaming without revealing their identities. Integrating Bitcoin into online casinos has also resulted in innovative bonus structures and rewards.
Some Bitcoin casinos offer exclusive promotions and bonuses for players who use Bitcoin as their preferred payment method. The best Bitcoin casinos in the Philippines are safe to deposit at, according to this guide, and you can choose the one that appeals to you the most. That’s why more and more players turn to Bitcoin as their payment method, fostering its further adoption in the gaming industry.
Since Bitcoin is decentralized, transactions bypass the regular censorship and control that we can see involved with traditional payment methods. Thanks to this, players from regions with strict gambling regulations can participate in online gaming with fewer restrictions. Bitcoin-powered online casinos do not impose geographical limitations, opening their services to players worldwide.
Bitcoin and Esports Betting
Beyond online casinos, Bitcoin has made significant breakthroughs in esports betting. We could witness a skyrocketing rise of esports in recent years, which resulted in millions of enthusiasts and viewers worldwide. Thanks to Bitcoin’s integration into esports, players have a wider range of options to engage with their favorite games and gamers.
Esports, or competitive video gaming, has witnessed a meteoric rise in popularity, attracting millions of viewers and enthusiasts worldwide. Bitcoin’s integration into esports betting platforms has revolutionized how fans engage with their favorite games and players.
Bitcoin’s advantages, such as fast and secure transactions, align perfectly with the dynamic nature of esports betting. Users can easily deposit and withdraw funds, allowing for quick reactions to changing odds or game outcomes. Bitcoin’s decentralized nature also ensures that bettors from any location can participate, overcoming the obstacles of regional restrictions and currency exchange complications.
Moreover, Bitcoin’s integration into esports betting platforms has provided players with increased transparency and fairness. The technology behind Bitcoin, blockchain, allows for unalterable and auditable records of transactions, ensuring that betting outcomes are tamper-proof.
This transparency has fostered greater trust among players, operators, and regulators, further fueling the growth of Bitcoin-powered esports betting.
Bitcoin and In-Game Purchases
As the gaming industry evolves, it has also opened innovative ways for gamers to enhance their gaming experience. With the involvement of Bitcoin, players can use it for in-game purchases. Nowadays, many popular online games support cryptocurrencies for item purchases, upgrades, or other enhancements.
Since crypto transactions are more seamless, Bitcoin has become a better alternative compared to traditional in-game payment methods. Game developers have also benefited from introducing Bitcoin as a payment option. Now they can offer a more convenient way of purchasing in-game items, transaction fees are lower, and processing times have become faster.
Moreover, you, as a player, don’t need to disclose any sensitive information anymore. That way, Bitcoin usage in gaming reduces the risk of potential data breaches. The adoption of Bitcoin in in-game purchases has also opened up new possibilities for cross-platform transactions.
As Bitcoin operates globally, players can easily trade or transfer in-game assets across different games or platforms, fostering a vibrant secondary market for virtual goods. This flexibility enhances player engagement and allows for a more interconnected gaming experience.
The integration of Bitcoin into in-game purchases has also paved the way for blockchain-based gaming ecosystems. Some game developers have embraced blockchain technology to create decentralized gaming platforms where players truly own their in-game assets through blockchain-based tokens. This ownership empowers players and introduces concepts of shortage and value to virtual items.
Benefits of Using Bitcoin in Online Gaming
Players can enjoy multiple benefits from using Bitcoin in online gaming. The most obvious one is that traditional payment methods cannot match the level of Bitcoin’s security and anonymity. Due to cryptos’ decentralized nature, you don’t need to disclose your sensitive data. If you want to get started in the gaming world easily and quickly, there’s no more attractive option than Bitcoin.
Transactions are completed within seconds, and they are cheaper in terms of fees compared to other popular methods. Since Bitcoin has become more popular in the online gaming industry, gaming platforms recognized its benefits.
Therefore, they introduced it as a payment method, and nowadays, the world’s most popular online gaming platforms accept Bitcoin, including Steam, Xbox Live, and PlayStation Network.
Security Considerations When Using Bitcoin in Gaming
While Bitcoin offers many benefits for online gaming, such as fast and secure transactions, there are also some security considerations to keep in mind. Performing online financial transactions always brings a high risk of potential hacking and theft of Bitcoin wallets. That’s why you should use a secure and reputable digital wallet and keep your private keys safe and inaccessible to unauthorized persons.
Also, online gaming platforms that you use should have strong security features established to keep your financial and personal information away from the eyes of unauthorized third parties.
Bitcoin’s rise in online gaming has brought many benefits for all entities in this growing industry. From online casinos to esports betting and in-game purchases, Bitcoin’s unique characteristics have reshaped the gaming landscape, offering increased speed, privacy, security, and global accessibility. It shouldn’t take too long before cryptocurrencies gain mainstream acceptance since they are continuously evolving.
That’s why we believe the Bitcoin integration in the online gaming industry will continue. Ultimately, it should unlock new ways of innovation and interaction for gaming fans worldwide, leading to limitless possibilities for the future of online gaming.
Unlock the Thrills of NHL Crypto Betting and Live Streaming
Are you a passionate NHL fan who craves excitement both on and off the ice? Look no further! NHL Crypto Betting and Live Streaming bring a revolutionary experience to your fingertips. Witness the fusion of cutting-edge technology, crypto-powered wagers, and seamless live streaming that will take your NHL engagement to new heights.
In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the world of NHL Crypto Betting, explore the latest trends in NHL betting, and uncover the exhilaration of live streaming. Brace yourself for an unparalleled journey that combines heart-pounding action, lucrative opportunities, and the thrill of cheering for your favorite teams in real-time.
The Evolution of NHL Crypto Betting
With the rise of blockchain technology, NHL Crypto Betting has emerged as a game-changer in the sports betting landscape. Powered by cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others, NHL Crypto Betting offers a secure, transparent, and decentralized platform for enthusiasts to engage with their favorite teams.
By leveraging blockchain’s immutability and smart contract capabilities, NHL Crypto Betting ensures fair and tamper-proof transactions, providing users with a sense of trust and integrity.
Moreover, NHL Crypto Betting introduces a new dimension to the traditional sports betting experience. Cryptocurrencies enable users to make instant deposits and withdrawals, eliminating the hassles associated with fiat currencies. This streamlined process enhances convenience and accessibility for bettors, empowering them to place wagers quickly and effortlessly.
Unleashing the Power of NHL Trends Betting
Keeping up with NHL trends is essential for successful betting. NHL Trends Betting allows users to analyze historical data, team performance, player statistics, and other crucial factors to make informed betting decisions. By identifying patterns, tendencies, and emerging trends, bettors can gain a competitive edge and increase their chances of winning.
Whether you’re an experienced bettor or new to the world of NHL betting, understanding and leveraging NHL trends is paramount. Stay ahead of the game by monitoring team form, home and away records, head-to-head matchups, injury reports, and other key indicators. NHL trends betting offers a strategic approach to maximize your chances of success and unlock profitable opportunities.
Immersive Live Streaming: Amplifying the NHL Experience
Live streaming has transformed the way sports fans engage with their favorite leagues, and the NHL is no exception. Experience the thrill of NHL games in real-time, no matter where you are, with seamless live streaming. Witness jaw-dropping goals, clutch saves, and heart-stopping moments as they happen, all from the comfort of your own device.
Thanks to advancements in technology, NHL live streaming offers impeccable video quality, multi-camera angles, and expert commentary, providing an immersive viewing experience.
Whether you’re a die-hard fan or a casual observer, live streaming brings you closer to the action, making you a part of every exhilarating moment. Cheer for your team, revel in the intensity, and celebrate their victories as if you were right there in the arena.
Maximizing User Engagement: The NHL Crypto Betting and Live Streaming Advantage
Combining NHL Crypto Betting and Live Streaming amplifies user engagement to unprecedented levels. When you become a part of this dynamic ecosystem, you open doors to exhilarating possibilities. Here’s how NHL Crypto Betting and Live Streaming enhance your overall experience:
- Real-Time Betting: Engage in fast-paced, live betting opportunities that align with the pulse of the game. React to game-changing moments and adapt your strategy instantly to seize the best odds and maximize your winnings.
- Community Interaction: Connect with fellow NHL enthusiasts, discuss predictions, and share your excitement within the vibrant community. Joining forces with like-minded individuals adds another layer of enjoyment to your NHL journey.
- Rewards and Bonuses: Benefit from exclusive rewards, loyalty programs, and enticing bonuses offered by NHL Crypto Betting platforms. From sign-up bonuses to seasonal promotions, these incentives boost your bankroll and heighten the thrill of your NHL experience.
- Accessible Anywhere, Anytime: Never miss a moment of NHL action, whether you’re at home, on the go, or traveling. NHL Crypto Betting and Live Streaming platforms are designed to cater to your mobile lifestyle, ensuring you’re always connected to the games you love.
Ignite Your NHL Experience with Crypto Betting and Live Streaming
As an NHL fan, you deserve an extraordinary experience that transcends the boundaries of traditional engagement. NHL Crypto Betting and Live Streaming offer a gateway to a realm where exhilaration knows no bounds.
Dive into the electrifying world of NHL Crypto Betting, stay ahead of the game with NHL trends betting, and immerse yourself in the adrenaline of seamless live streaming. The perfect fusion of technology, sports, and entertainment awaits you. Join now and ignite your NHL experience like never before!
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