South Africa is one of the world’s leading markets for crypto adoption. According to Luno, a popular SA cryptocurrency exchange, Bitcoin ranks second highest in the number of Google searches for the term “Bitcoin”. Each day, South African traders are buying crypto for the first time, or making trades on the regular. So, what’s the reason for crypto’s popularity in South Africa?
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Already Established Trading Infrastructure
Trading isn’t new to South Africans, and financial services are commonplace for most. SA has well established trading platforms already in existence, which made the transition to crypto trading platforms smooth. Most South African’s also have bank accounts and are familiar with mobile financial services, which makes the web-based world of cryptocurrencies more accessible and familiar to SA traders.
South African’s are actually pioneers in the crypto industry. Luno, which launched in 2013, was the very first crypto trading platform in Africa – and one of few that had been established on the global scale. Many exchanges that launched at roughly the same time no longer exist – but Luno has outlasted them. A home grown trading platform certainly added to the appeal of crypto in the South African context.
South Africa is an Emerging Market
It’s fairly common knowledge that emerging markets like South Africa want change. The African continent as a whole has been a leader in the widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies offer an alternative to fiat financial services, which often leave much to be desired in developing countries. While South Africa has a high-functioning financial sector, the country’s economy is unstable – South African traders are savvy, and know that crypto can be an alternative should things go south.
Fluctuating Rand and Positive Regulations
The South African Rand has lost a substantial portion of its value since 2014, and the Covid-19 pandemic has seen the once financially stable economy contract further. The Rand fluctuates often, and although cryptocurrencies are highly volatile, they seem to offer more stability.
This is compounded by the fact that the South African Reserve Bank has established a team from the crypto industry to work on regulation – current regulation is ambiguous, but the nation is looking to industry leaders to drive it in the future.
Remittance and Cross Border Transactions
Many South African’s send money across the border – but remittance services in the country are bound by bureaucratic red tape, are expensive, and quite slow. Cryptocurrencies offer a fast, and much cheaper alternative with relatively little admin work required. This makes crypto highly intriguing for many South African’s who need to send money elsewhere.
Trading Crypto in SA is More Accessible Than Ever
Crypto trading is incredibly popular in South Africa, for a number of reasons. Early adoption was fueled by a deepening economic crisis, need for remittance alternatives, and a tech savvy population craving change. Overall, crypto traders are set up for the good life in SA – thanks to the multitude of excellent digital asset trading options available to them.