South Africa has the most sophisticated economy and financial sector on the continent, and its citizens are increasingly warming up to the idea of investing and trading in cryptocurrencies — despite regulatory concerns over such decentralised digital financial assets across the world.
The MyBroadband 2018 Cryptocurrency Survey — completed in April — shows that more South Africans who have never previously held cryptocurrencies are planning to invest in cryptocurrencies either by purchasing them directly or by gaining exposure to the industry through investments in related enterprises such as cryptocurrency mining.
“Of the survey respondents who do not own or who have never owned cryptocurrency, almost 50% said they plan to invest in an aspect of cryptocurrency or crypto mining in 2018,” reported the MyBroadband tech news and research site on Friday.
Several other tech savvy South Africans who responded to the survey said they were still planning to buy tokens despite never having been invested in the area.
Global prices for bitcoin and etherium skyrocketed in 2017 before bottoming out early 2018 while prices have been volatile in the past few weeks. Prices of cryptocurrencies are susceptible to developments and regulatory issues around the digital assets across the world.
About 25% of respondents to the MyBroadband survey they “will invest in cryptocurrency” while around “15% will invest in cryptocurrency and crypto mining.” A further 7% said they would invest in crypto mining
Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyer says the recent decision taken by the South African Revenue Authority (SARS) to tax cryptocurrencies was “anticipated” owing to the “growing popularity of cryptocurrencies in South Africa and following the absence of legislation relating to the taxation and regulation” of virtual currencies.
Reports say cryptocurrency trading is on the surge in South Africa, with some restaurants and businesses already accepting virtual currencies for payments. Other African countries such as Zimbabwe have shied away from acknowledging trade in bitcoin despite virtual currencies increasingly helping plug liquidity and foreign currency shortages for international transactions.