Zimbabwe’s newly introduced foreign currency regulations threaten peer-to-peer bitcoin trading via messaging apps.
New Foreign Currency Regulations
The Zimbabwean economy – which has been hit by hyperinflation – endures an ongoing shortage of foreign currencies. Authorities blame illegal foreign currency dealers for exacerbating the situation thus hastening the fall of the local currency. Several regulations have been introduced in the past few months to arrest the situation.
A recent directive by a unit within Zimbabwe’s central bank to outlaw advertisements relating to foreign currency trading has sparked off a panic within Bitcoin trading communities.
The latest decision comes in the wake of a sharp depreciation of the Zimbabwean dollar against the US dollar. Economists blame the country’s biting foreign currency shortages for the local currency’s free fall.
The central bank has pegged the exchange rate at 1 USD for every 25 Zimbabwean dollars towards the end of March. However, the black market rate is now 1:80 or higher.
Financial Intelligence Unit Onslaught
On June 15, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe circulated a document that is threatening to freeze bank and mobile money accounts of those caught putting up any advertisements relating to foreign currency trading in social media chat groups.
The FIU alleges it is aware that some WhatsApp groups have mushroomed for the specific purpose of promoting and facilitating ‘illegal’ foreign currency dealings.
Parts of the statement reads:
“The FIU, in collaboration with the police, banks, mobile money/mobile money service providers and relevant regulatory agencies, has embarked on an exercise to identify and take action against individuals who create, advertise on or participate (actively or passively) in WhatsApp groups or other platforms for illegal foreign currency trading.”
The statement goes on to list the steps authorities will take against those caught on the wrong side of these regulations.
Panic in Crypto-Related Chat Groups
Some within the cryptocurrency trading communities have suggested that this directive encompasses bitcoin trading as well. Bitcoin trades, just like with the so-called foreign currency black-market trades, are often initiated in social media chat groups.
Moreover, bitcoin-to-fiat trading is typically conducted in foreign currencies like US dollars. Although, there are trades where local mobile money is the preferred method of payment.
Consequently, some traders are now taking precautions by replacing their local WhatsApp phone numbers with foreign ones. The use of foreign phone numbers helps to masks the real identity of traders and their bank accounts from being targeted.
Yet others are adamant that bitcoin—which the central bank has not recognised as currency—is, in fact, a digital asset. As such, it is exempt from the FIU directive. However, the broad terms used in the FIU statement suggest authorities are trying to go after all platforms where foreign currency is exchanged.
Still, others are not overly worried insisting that FIU lacks the capacity to achieve this kind of surveillance and policing. In any case, they say Whatsapp messages are protected with end-to-end encryption.
BitcoinAfrica.io reached out to FIU to get clarification on the some of the issues raised by bitcoin traders. However, we did not receive a response at the time of publishing.
No Crypto-Specific Regulation
Zimbabwe, just like many of its counterparts on the African continent, does not have regulations that specifically govern cryptocurrency trading. The country’s central bank has in the past issued press statements advising the public against dealing in cryptocurrencies.
At the same time, it banned financial institutions from facilitating the movement of funds between fiat to crypto and vice versa. These decisions culminated in the shutdown of Golix, a cryptocurrency exchange in 2018.
However, since then there has been an apparent rapprochement by the central bank concerning its blockchain technology. For instance, in its last monetary policy statement, monetary authorities again touted the potential of blockchain technology. They even encouraged financial institutions to adopt this.
Why Cryptocurrencies Are Going to Be the Future of Gaming
Do you know that many predict that online gambling will depend on Crypto in the future? Of course, this makes a lot of sense since digital currencies have become a universal asset in recent years. By the way, we can also say that casinos have benefited greatly from cryptocurrencies.
Aside from the fact that the gambling scene has expanded horizons, it has also bragged of unimaginable game lovers in no time. From this, you should have known that there is still another reason behind these gaming assumptions. But you know what? Sit with us!
Let’s look at the major reasons digital currencies will be the future of the betting industry.
Why Are Cryptocurrencies Going to be the Future of Gaming?
1. Players earn more
Today, cryptocurrencies serve as a way for players to make big bucks. Therefore, it is no longer news that the future of games is a digital currency. Thanks to cryptocurrency, the days when players had to make deposits to play their favorite games without a chance to win are over.
Moreover, digital currencies have continued to function as a major source of income for all punters. For example, it has a special way of rewarding players who have completed certain gaming tasks. These rewards are exceptionally offered by purchasing in-game items with in-game cryptocurrencies, contributing to crypto status.
2. Fast transaction
With fast trading via cryptocurrencies, there is reason to believe that betting sites with local play payment options such as Neteller, Skrill, and bank transfers have little future. This is because it takes time to confirm these payment options.
Speaking of cryptocurrencies, you don’t have to wait long to receive payments. Your account will be credited in a blink of an eye. So tell us! Would you like to leave the crypto-based betting platform for the traditional betting platform? We are doubtful of that! Believe us, it’s coming to the stage where only cryptocurrency game forums exist.
3. Ability to play anywhere
Cryptocurrency eliminates the need to be able to play only in physical casinos. Consequently, it’s a bonus point for the development of online gambling. With this, players can easily access multiple casino games, like a huge catalog of bitcoin slots, and gamble anywhere without fear of being cut off from their betting experience.
Imagine depositing and withdrawing funds from anywhere in the world without restrictions. This means that instead of using other currencies, you can use cryptocurrency tokens to play games in any location. Besides, we all want a stress-free life, and cryptocurrencies have made things easier than we thought. Therefore, there is no upper limit; digital currencies thrive in the gambling market.
4. Gamblers are better safe with Crypto
With the introduction of blockchain in the gambling industry, gamblers are much less likely to constantly fear being victims of data privacy breaches on gambling platforms. As far as we know, cryptocurrencies have the highest level of security to protect players from unforeseen circumstances.
Besides, you don’t have to reveal your financial and personal details on the gaming sites if you wish. That’s because, with crypto gambling, you can play anonymously and still have access to unlimited offers on the sites.
Of course, the technology behind casino games and digital currencies is practical, but you can’t deny that they fit like gloves. You can also buy and sell these digital assets for the benefit of gambling. So no doubt! Over time, the game world will become more eye-catching, and ultimately there will be no gambling forum without cryptocurrencies.
The History of Bitcoin, the First Cryptocurrency
Bitcoin (BTC) has taken investors and the rest of the globe on a wild ride from its modest origins in 2008. The Bitcoin price fluctuated for over a decade, eventually reaching tens of thousands of dollars. Read on to learn about the history of Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is a decentralized electronic trade between individuals. In layman’s terms, individuals may transfer money to one another without going through a bank or intermediary. Bitcoin was created to facilitate financial transactions without dependence on the government or large financial institutions. Bitcoin users may deal with one another through the blockchain, which tracks transactions and the bitcoin price using a “proof-of-work” technique.
Some believe Bitcoin will someday replace fiat money. Despite Bitcoin’s shortcomings, venture investors remain hopeful about the progress in the Bitcoin price achieved since the cryptocurrency’s inception. The emergence of Bitcoin has gathered a group of individuals thrilled about the advent of cryptocurrencies and the possibilities they will provide for companies and investors. Furthermore, Bitcoin has spawned dozens of alternative digital currencies.
When Did Bitcoin Start?
During the 2008 Great Recession, the role of banks in the financial sector was investigated. This was when Bitcoin was created, and a Bitcoin price was established. People claiming to be Satoshi Nakamoto published a white paper about the problems with centralized money management and the importance of trust when dealing with other people’s money.
Transaction costs can add up in the traditional financial system when a transaction can be undone or changed by a third party. The goal of bitcoin was to eliminate the need for a middleman in commercial transactions. Instead of depending on banks and other institutions outside the network to verify network integrity, the Bitcoin system employs cryptographic proof.
The first block was mined in 2009, marking the formal launch of the blockchain. A week on, the first test transaction was done. The only individuals who could obtain it for the first several months were miners who could check the Bitcoin price on the blockchain. Miners would exchange Bitcoins for no other purpose than to have fun. Miners are individuals who utilize very powerful computers to solve complicated mathematical problems to discover new Bitcoins and ensure that previous Bitcoin transactions are honest and accurate.
For another year, there weren’t any major transactions involving the new medium of exchange. Shortly thereafter, in 2010, a Florida resident offered some 10,000 BTC in a bid to have the priceless $25 commodity come home. His name was Pizza John. With this deal, the world had its first genuine Bitcoin prices set at some four Bitcoins for every penny. On average, this haul of Bitcoin compares to approximately $400 million in modern money. Interestingly, crypto enthusiasts have set aside May 22 to mark the groundbreaking occasion, known as “Pizza Day.”
The Price of Bitcoin in the Past
One feature that distinguishes Bitcoin price is its volatility. Because Bitcoin is a novel asset, there is a lot of speculation about it, and its value is widely discussed. Despite fluctuating prices, Bitcoin’s value has skyrocketed since its inception in 2009. Bitcoin’s history has been chiefly one of fast growth, punctuated by a few dramatic price declines here and there. Bitcoin surpassed the $1 milestone in February 2011.
Bitcoin price was less than $2 initially, but then it went up. It had its first bubble in June 2011, rising to above $31 before falling into the single-digit price range. After more than two years, Bitcoin finally reached $200 in April 2013. It was worth more than $1,000 by November of the same year. In November 2017, the fee was raised to $10,000. In November 2021, it reached a high of close to $68,990. That doesn’t mean the journey was without incident.
Bitcoin was called a bubble in 2017 because investors paid more for it than the Bitcoin price was worth. According to Furo, the 2017-2018 bubble was largely caused by an increase in initial coin offerings or ICOs. Some experienced investors compare the Bitcoin bubble to the end-of-the-century internet boom.
Everyone was talking about Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, a new network or protocol, from wealthy hedge fund investors to your neighbor. The ICO craze boosted the cryptocurrency market by billions of dollars. The beginning of 2018 saw a significant drop in the Bitcoin price due to psychological and technical issues. When the price of Bitcoin fell, a “mature market” developed around it.
Because of these changes in the Bitcoin price, the Bitcoin market has matured considerably. Established efficient and intelligent exchanges are taking the necessary steps to create a self-sustaining and viable market for investing and trading in Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, and key institutional-grade participants are following suit.
Right now, the Bitcoin price is around $37,000. It’s far away from its all-time high and post-peak low. Earle claims that no one knows the inventor- Satoshi Nakamoto. This topic can be discussed, speculated, and may lead to conspiracy theories.
One of these theories holds that Bitcoin is a “skunk work” or top-secret project of a company like Alphabet Inc. or an intelligence service. Others believe it is a “trap-door project” that will be taken over by a bad person waiting in the wings. Earle considers Bitcoin’s present to be more important than its past. He argues that the predominant evidence points to two primary, widely held ideas. The first is: Like anything else, money is actually a good. Secondly, money results from a given market process.
Cryptocurrencies have almost wholly supplanted conventional money, but the Bitcoin price is still maturing, and Bitcoin is becoming a value store and unit of account.
So, what is the future of Bitcoin as a cryptocurrency and the Bitcoin price? Nobody knows, but Furo believes it would be lovely and intriguing.
New, low-cost, and simple investment options are becoming a reality. The Bitcoin price will make acquiring bitcoins even more accessible to many individuals. Such access would be comparable to that of well-known markets. Keep in mind that no investment is without risk.
Weekly Roundup: Binance Announces Zero Bitcoin Trading Fees to Celebrate 5th Anniversary & More
In this week’s news roundup, you’ll read about Binance announcing a fee-free spot trading on various Bitcoin trading pairs, Celo launching a Web3 fund geared towards African startups looking to transition from Web2 to Web3, US commodities regulator filing a civil charge on a South African Bitcoin scam for fraud, and more.
Binance Announces Zero Bitcoin Trading Fees to Celebrate 5th Anniversary
To celebrate its fifth anniversary, Binance has announced that it will eliminate trading fees on a variety of Bitcoin spot trading pairs.
Although Binance has always offered and maintained the lowest spot trading fees in the cryptocurrency industry, this move will see the exchange establish itself as the global leader in pricing.
Speaking about the announcement, Binance Founder and CEO “CZ” (Changpeng Zhao) said: “In line with our user-first philosophy, Binance has always strived to provide the most competitive fees in the industry. At its core, Binance is an inclusive platform with accessibility in mind. Eliminating the trading fees on selected BTC spot trading pairs is another move towards that direction.”
From July 8, Binance users will enjoy zero trading fees on 13 stablecoin and fiat combinations including BTC/USDT, BTC/BUSD, BTC/USDC, BTC/EUR, BTC/TRY, among others. The new fees will be in effect until further notice. This means that users on the crypto exchange will be able to enjoy fee-free trading beyond the two weeks planned for anniversary celebrations.
Celo Launches a Web3 Fund for African Startups Looking to Migrate to Web3 From Web2
Celo, a mobile-first blockchain ecosystem geared towards building an all-inclusive financial system, has announced the launch of its Web3 fund that will support African startups developing across payments, remittance, related financial services, savings, and virtual assets.
Through its VC partners, the Celo Africa Web3 Fund will provide financial investments to African startups. In addition, the company will offer technical assistance via the Celo Developer Guild and its technical partners such as Ape Unit and Tatum. Both the financial investments and technical assistance offered will make it possible for Web2 founders in the African continent to adopt a strategy and grow their business to achieve deeper financial inclusion, lower transaction costs, and more affordable credit.
Celo, together with its various partners, has already made an open call for Web2 founders in Africa to apply for the Celo Africa Web3 Fund by July 15, 2022, and has pledged that they will support shortlisted candidates through their transition to Web3.
The fund will include an in-person workshop across five African countries with the first in-country workshop slated for July 26, 2022. Additional workshops are expected to follow in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, and Uganda between July and November 2022.
South African Company Charged by the US CFTC for Bitcoin Fraud Worth Over $1.7 Billion
The US commodities regulator, Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), has filed civil charges against Mirror Trading International Proprietary Limited (MTI), a South African company, and its CEO, for running a fraudulent Bitcoin commodity pool worth over $1.7 billion and over registration violations.
According to CFTC, the company and its CEO, Cornelius Johannes Steynberg, solicited Bitcoin online between May 2018 and March 2021, from thousands of people, including 23,000 Americans. Additionally, it said that the company instead of trading forex as it had registered itself as, embezzled pool funds, lied about using trading bots, faked account statements, misrepresented trading and performance, and used a fake broker in instances where the trade actually happened.
The Ponzi scheme is the largest involving bitcoin fraud the CTFC has handled. Moreover, the regulator also stated that Steynberg was a fugitive until he was recently arrested in Brazil by Interpol.
Cardano Accelerator Adaverse Funds Seso Property Marketplace to Boost Cardano’s Adoption
Adaverse Fund, a Cardano VC accelerator fund created to boost the development of Web3-based solutions in the African continent, has announced its participation in Seso Global’s fundraising.
Seso Global is an online real estate property marketplace that leverages blockchain technology to reinvent Africa’s real estate industry. The company utilizes blockchain to provide a marketplace that supports secure and risk-free digital land transactions between buyers, financial institutions, land agencies, property owners, and professionals that service the real estate value chain.
The funding round saw venture capital firms, Adaverse, Columbus Angel Network, Emurgo Africa, Kepple Africa Ventures, Moabi Group, and Rising Tide take part. In addition, Jamie Broderick, Albert Essient, and Ibrahim Sagna also took part as angel investors.
“This partnership is key for Seso Global as it provides us with necessary partners and experts to expand our Web3 offerings. We are now seeing the growth of Blockchain real estate solutions and with Adaverse, Seso will be a trailblazer for the industry in Africa. We are confident that Cardano will see strong growth in Africa due to its lower energy needs and cost of the Blockchain.” says Daniel Bloch, CEO and co-founder of Seso Global.
Adaverse was established in September 2021 as a joint venture partnership between Everest Ventures and EMURGO Africa to not only identify but also provide valuable support and resources to propitious African founders developing the next wave of Web3 decentralized applications (DApps) in decentralized finance (DeFi), gaming, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), the metaverse, and more on Cardano’s third-generation and environmentally-sustainable blockchain.
To learn more about Bitcoin, download the Bitcoin Beginner’s Handbook for free.
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