- The Bitcoin price has been on a roller-coaster ride since last year when the global Covid-19 pandemic struck, with prices reaching 2017 levels when it last peaked.
- For those looking to spend their newfound wealth there are some stores willing to accept bitcoin, as well as a breadbasket mix of other cryptocurrencies, in return for goods.
- From Krugerrands to Ferrari’s, and even skateboards here’s some options.
- For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
Just a few years ago the thought of purchasing something in South Africa with cryptocurrency – let alone actually being able to do it – would have been unheard of. But step-by-step, crypto is becoming a part of our everyday lives.
Several stores in South Africa are willing to accept bitcoin, as well as a breadbasket mix of other cryptocurrencies, in return for goods from Krugerrands to Ferrari’s, and even skateboards.
In the last year, the bitcoin price has seesawed like a roller-coaster, with the value jumping from about R179,000 last September to nearly R900,000 in mid-April, a price that hasn’t been seen since 2017 when it last peaked. The rise, however, was short-lived when prices fell to around R500,000, where it sits now.
The latest hype cycle showed positivity factors when El Salvador officially became the first country to make bitcoin a legal tender and big bank Goldman Sachs began trading on the blockchain-based network created by JPMorgan Chase & Co.
On the flipside, negative news that China wants to clamp down on miners that make up about 65% of the world’s bitcoin using computers to generate the complex algorithms to make the digital currency; billionaire Elon Musk tweeting that you could buy Tesla cars before back peddling on the deal citing energy consumption concerns; and an alleged R50 billion heist by two South Africans that ‘mysteriously disappeared’ has made international headlines.
Read more: Africrypt: ‘It wasn’t us’, say brothers – with no sign the R50bn they supposedly stole existed
Regardless of its volatility, South African’s haven’t been deterred from investing – in fact, it’s the opposite.
Crypto trading platform Luno, which was founded in Cape Town, said it added one million more users over the past three months, with 300,000 new wallets being created over this period. South Africa accounts for 30% of the platform’s users.
“If we assume that crypto is destined to replace traditional currency as a medium of exchange, retailer adoption is clearly important. When Luno asked its customers in 2020 whether they’d pay for goods and services using crypto given the option, over 80% of 435 respondents indicated that they would,” said Marius Reitz, GM for Africa at Luno.
But, for South Africans wishing to make an early cash out and spend their newfound wealth, purchasing goods in bitcoin is limited and, at times, not always a done deal.
One just needs to look back to 2014, when Takealot (and other companies) announced they…