Zimbabwe’s bitcoin traders are optimistic that the country will one way or the other accept the cryptocurrency amid the cash crisis crippling the country.
Analysts are on record urging Zimbabweans to adopt bitcoin with the belief that it can solve the cash crisis in the country.
By Kudakwashe Pembere
With the acute shortage of cash on the back of depleted nostro accounts, is bitcoin the last port of call for Zimbabweans?
Standard Chartered recently banned online transactions while Ecocash came up with Mastercard transaction limits twice within a short space of time on the back of depleted nostros.
Recently fetching a price equivalent to that of gold at $1 360 , it appears very tempting to buy the virtual currency which is forecast to reach a phenomenal $3 000 per bitcoin.
Following the trend of how Zimbabweans can adapt to change, BitMari Lead Developer Tongai Choto told TechnoMag after the Computer Society of Zimbabwe’s Banking and Finance seminar held yesterday that Zimbabweans might as well adopt the currency.
“In my opinion, it’s going to be accepted. Why? Because a lot of people already know about bitcoin. They at least have an idea of something called bitcoin. Zimbabweans, we are quick to adopt just like we did during the Zim dollar era where we used bearer cheques, to the time we used the United States Dollars, the Rands back and forth, we are now using bond notes. We are quick to adapt to change,” he said.
Choto added that with this gloomy cash climate, more Zimbabweans will eventually take interest in the currency.
“So in my opinion, the way things are going, if we don’t find a solution, people will start asking what is bitcoin? How can I use it? Because the current situation with cross border payments is dire and needs to be addressed. So that’s my opinion,” said the BitMari Lead Developer.
“First of all, I don’t think it’s taking long (to adopt Bitcoin), I think it’s getting adopted fast. But not at the fast as it could and I guess it’s basically because of the challenges with any new technology.
“A lot of people don’t have access to bitcoin, if everyone tried to buy bitcoin at the same time, there wouldn’t be enough bitcoin for everyone so these problems take time to solutions for,” he said.
BitFinance which is the sole merchant of bitcoin assisting interested Zimbabweans to buy and sell the currency currently has over 2500 people who signed up to their site.
Since launch in 2015, about 8 percent of the 2500 people are active on the trading platform.
During his presentation, Choto said they are looking forward to raise capital for women farmers who have no access to it.
He said in their previous crowdfunding campaign they raised about $25 000 in bitcoin for women farmers.
“We raised about $25, 500 in a period of two months way before their targeted three months.
“Those farmers need to give us back what we put into them. We were giving $1, 500 to each group so right now, there are other groups which need the capital,” said Choto.
Fincheck Managing Director George Nachamba noted there are several financial transaction services which are cheaper such as Zipit, Paynet, Payserve among others.