South Africa was slow to adopt the concept of crypto currencies. The interest came in 2016 when Bitcoin began to double in value. By 2017 Bitcoin was a well-known phenomenon in the nation. The currency made a lot of people millionaires in a short space of time. Only up-to-date investors in the country made money, but most traditional companies stuck to stocks and bonds saw how much they have lost by being too rigid.
Bitcoin was thought by many to be the only crypto currency, by 2016 there were more than 1000 available to the market for trade or for commercial retail. The process is easy, once you have registered with the currency of choice through an App, you can track its movement. You can buy or sell new currency, even buy goods on Amazon and get a discount. This is the advantage of using cryptos, here in S.A you can buy cryptos using the Rand. Security standards are very high, and it’s almost impossible to steal crypto currency. The technology is quick and happens in real time for trade.
The raise of Cryptos has opened a new market for short and long term investment groups. These currencies do not trade in the usual stock exchange like the JSE but they have their own index. Buyers and investors use this index for trade purposes and buy them as they would stock in the company. The strategy is the same: buy low and sell high, a tried and tested formula. Stable currencies have been introduced to the market that are meant to be used for commerce only and not as an investment tool. These stable crypto currencies cover the gap between short term selling fluctuations and stability.
Old Mutual Money Management App called 22seven is being introduced to the market and it uses the Rand as medium of exchange. The App tracks more than 1 800 crypto currencies. This is a great tool and will assist the user see that amount in a local currency. Most crypto’s are denominated in US dollars. Another benefit is the user can see movement of short term investment based crypto’s and make informed decision to buy or to sell.
Crypto’s are a huge market overseas and China and other Asian countries use them for commercial and retail purposes. Less than 20 outlets in S.A will accept payment in Bitcoin or any crypto as means of bill settlement, while in the US big retail shops from Amazon to small restaurants will agree to bill settlement through cryptos. In New York and some areas of Asia, Hong Kong you can pay rent using cryptos. The idea of having a cellphone App to pay a bill is appealing to most. There are no exorbitant banking fees when transacting using this method of payment.
The market in South Africa is in the process of growth, once big retail outlets feel comfortable with the technology, the easier it will be for the public to use cryptos. For now most use cryptos as an investment or travel money when on international holiday.