Jeffrey Gogo: Faced With Cash And Forex Shortages, Zimbabweans Turn To Bitcoin – Even When It’s Banned

zimbabwe study263 south-africa reserve-bank-of-zimbabwe n-featured john-mangudya emerging-markets cryptocurrency bitcoin africa

Faced With Cash And Forex Shortages, Zimbabweans Turn To Bitcoin - Even When It’s Banned

Cryptocurrency may be banned in Zimbabwe, but bitcoin is helping ordinary folk make payments bank-free. It makes for a great fit for the more than 10 million Zimbabweans who lack access to basic banking services. And it’s even more beneficial to the banked few, a distrusting lot, keen to protect their savings against bank failure, inflation or even political turmoil.

Also read: With Bitcoin Cash, A Namibian Conservationist Hopes To Save Endangered African Wild Dog

How Do You Feel About Paying Rent in Bitcoin?

How would you feel about paying rent in bitcoin (BTC)? Josh from Zimbabwe’s second largest city, Bulawayo, feels great about it. “I didn’t have cash at hand, so, my landlord who is open-minded about cryptocurrency said I could pay in bitcoin,” Josh told news.bitcoin.com.

Faced With Cash And Forex Shortages, Zimbabweans Turn To Bitcoin - Even When It’s Banned
Harare, Zimbabwe.

The 23 year-old unemployed psychology graduate, who mines bitcoin at a small scale, zipped 0.02281BTC to his landlord, the equivalent of US$120 at the time.

Zimbabwe is faced with a two-fold problem: a shortage of foreign currency, and that of a surrogate currency called bond notes, initially billed as a panacea to the forex crunch. The Southern African country gave up its own currency in 2009, the same year bitcoin was born, after hyperinflation peaked at over 230 million percent, according to official estimates.

Some businesses, importers and informal traders particularly, often now offer discounts on cash purchases in US dollars – or bond notes – while charging more for mobile or card transactions.

Bitcoin a Silver Bullet

Faced With Cash And Forex Shortages, Zimbabweans Turn To Bitcoin – Even When It’s BannedNow, as Zimbabwe struggles with a severe cash crisis that has forced people to spend hours queuing for money at banks, bitcoin is proving a silver bullet. Not only is the benchmark cryptocurrency helping people like Josh pay for apartment rentals and rates, but it is also making it easier for Zimbabweans to pay for goods and services that are charged in US dollar terms.

A few days ago, this writer used bitcoin to pay subscription for satellite TV – about 0.0042BTC or US$27 at the time, including fees, because I could not get or afford the US dollar equivalent. Around the same time, Stanbic, one of the few remaining local banks accepting deposits for pay television, announced it will no longer be processing such payments, citing a shortage of foreign currency.

The forex crunch means that people can’t pay for goods and services that are dollar denominated using the bond notes, a currency the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) claims is tied 1:1 against the US$. It is not. The greenback is selling at a premium of 85 percent on the streets of Harare.

Cheaper Than Banks

Study263, a platform originally created to help Zimbabweans studying abroad pay fees with ease via cryptocurrency, has now gained thousands of users as people seek to circumvent the RBZ’s chokehold on foreign currency allocations.

“We don’t only use bitcoin but any other available cryptocurrency – they are cheaper, faster, and in Zimbabwe’s situation it (bitcoin) works now that card payments do not work out of the country anymore,” said Study263 co-founder Tinashe Jani.

Jani said his company had facilitated over 900 transactions with amounts ranging from $10-$10 000+ since starting operations a year ago. For pay television, Study263, which is based in South Africa, receives bitcoin into its wallet before converting that to Rand and making payment there, for a fee of between 2 to 3 percent. Connection is almost instant.
Banks like Stanbic were charging up to $10 for a similar service.

Faced With Cash And Forex Shortages, Zimbabweans Turn To Bitcoin – Even When It’s BannedDSTV, Africa’s biggest satellite TV company, is South African-owned.

Jani said his company was getting requests for services they don’t provide such as “someone asking us to give Rand to their siblings who cannot have access to bitcoin in Zimbabwe or South Africa.”

For a fee of 3 percent of the amount transfered, Study263 obliges the request, he said. In Bulawayo, Josh is looking to continue making BTC-based rentals going forward after his first successful ‘test run’ with his landlord.

Crypto Ban

Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ethereum and liteoin are banned in Zimbabwe. The country had started to emerge as a critical part of the crypto market in Africa when the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe in May shut down two exchanges, Golix and Styx24, that were helping people buy and sell bitcoin and other digital coins from a central platform.

The RBZ accused the exchanges of violating Exchange Control laws, and of taking on banking activities, such as accepting deposits – something they weren’t allowed to do. When Golix tried to raise $32 million via a token sale in June, central bank governor John Mangudya described the process as a “pyramid scheme”. Today, Golix is contesting the ban in the High Court.

How are people in your area making use of bitcoin in everyday transactions? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post Faced With Cash And Forex Shortages, Zimbabweans Turn To Bitcoin – Even When It’s Banned appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Original article was created by: Jeffrey Gogo at news.bitcoin.com

Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide, investment advice. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency or ICO.

Interested in Cryptocurrencies and ICO's?

Follow our telegram channel for daily cryptomarket reports!

Join @cointrends

Related Articles

pubDate Newsline
1 month ago From Hive Project to Hiveterminal: The New Brand Unveiled!
1 month ago Win $100 of Bitcoin Cash in Bitcoin.com’s Paper Wallet Design Contest
1 month ago Win $100 of Bitcoin Cash in Bitcoin.com’s Paper Wallet Design Contest
1 month ago The Daily: Kanye Teaches Opsec, Crypto Foes Join Forces
1 month ago BANKEX Monthly Update: September 2018
1 month ago Largest South Korean Exchange Launches Crypto Market Indices
1 month ago Nigerian Startup Kubitx Launches Bitcoin Exchange in Beta
1 month ago South African Startup Centbee Launches Bitcoin Cash Payments App
1 month ago Nigerian Startup Kubitx Launches Bitcoin Exchange in Beta
1 month ago Dash Adoption Pushes Forward in Africa
1 month ago Nigerian Startup Kubitx Launches Bitcoin Exchange in Beta
1 month ago Wave of Mobile Tax Hikes Squeezes Africa’s Poor to Indulge Governments
1 month ago Wave of Mobile Tax Hikes Squeezes Africa’s Poor to Indulge Governments
1 month ago Wave of Mobile Tax Hikes Squeeze Africa’s Poor to Indulge Governments
1 month ago Wave of Mobile Tax Hikes Squeezes Africa’s Poor to Indulge Governments
1 month ago Wave of Mobile Tax Hikes Squeeze Africa’s Poor to Indulge Governments
4 months ago Unaware Where Bitcoins Are Mined, RBZ Governor Embraces Blockchain

Stay on top of Altcoins and ICO trends.

Subscribe to our free Weekly Cryptomarket report

Delivered once a week, strongly to your inbox.

Subscribe to our mailing list
October 12, 2018

Win $100 of Bitcoin Cash in Bitcoin.com’s Paper Wallet Design Contest

Over the next few weeks, Bitcoin.com is hosting a paper wallet design contest to create a beautiful cold storage visual graphic for bitcoin enthusiasts around the world. The competition is open to everyone and the winning entry will receive $100 worth of bitcoin cash. Also Read: Bitcoin.com...

From: Bitcoin.com

The Daily: Kanye Teaches Opsec, Crypto Foes Join Forces

The last 24 hours has been one of those all-too-rare periods in which the cryptosphere unites against a shared enemy. We’ll detail who in The Daily, right after we’ve discussed blockchain spam, Blockfolio’s new funding round, and how we learned an opsec lesson from Kanye West. Also...

From: Kai Sedgwick

US Court Issues Emergency Order Halting a Planned Initial Coin Offering

An American court has put a stop to an initial coin offering (ICO) by a company claiming to offer “the first licensed and regulated tokenized crypto currency exchange & index fund based in the US.” The ICO promoters even invented their own regulatory authority, which seems to...

From: Avi Mizrahi

Largest South Korean Exchange Launches Crypto Market Indices

The largest crypto exchange in South Korea by trading volume, Bithumb, has launched two cryptocurrency market indices. One tracks all coins listed on the exchange while the other tracks only altcoins. Meanwhile, Upbit, the country’s largest crypto exchange by the number of coins listed, has...

From: Kevin Helms

Funny New Advert Shows Bitcoin Is on Google’s Mind

Google, which currently sits on the fence with regard to cryptocurrency, took an opportunity to throw shade at digital coins like bitcoin core and bitcoin cash during an advert for its new call-screening feature. In the minute-long segment, popular comedians dressed as Google employees mock...

From: Jeffrey Gogo

Facebook Purge Continues: 559 Pages, 251 Accounts Removed Ahead of US Elections

Facebook’s Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy, and Oscar Rodriguez, Product Manager, announced that “Today, we’re removing 559 pages and 251 accounts that have consistently broken our rules against spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior.” It is another decision to purge...

From: C. Edward Kelso
Upcoming ICO's
This week overview
Token Name Starts
Aditus (ADI) logo Aditus (ADI) 1 days
PlayChip (PLA) logo PlayChip (PLA) 2 days
Stem Cell (SCIA) logo Stem Cell (SCIA) 2 days
Nodvix (NVDX) logo Nodvix (NVDX) 3 days
B21 (B21) logo B21 (B21) 4 days
Coingrid (CGT) logo Coingrid (CGT) 4 days
Empleos (PLEO) logo Empleos (PLEO) 6 days
InnovaMinex (INX) logo InnovaMinex (INX) 7 days
WHIRL (WRL) logo WHIRL (WRL) 7 days
Gturbo (GTR) logo Gturbo (GTR) 7 days
Talent Token (TLNT) logo Talent Token (TLNT) 7 days
Cryptocurrency rates
*Last hour average price&change
Coin Name Price Hour
Bitcoin logo BTC $5607.92329744 -0.2%
Ripple logo XRP $0.5045164891 -1.13%
Ethereum logo ETH $176.309169444 -0.33%
Bitcoin Cash logo BCH $382.711075164 -0.63%
Stellar logo XLM $0.2467379678 -1.06%
EOS logo EOS $4.5705926291 -0.33%
Litecoin logo LTC $42.1140592923 -0.33%
Tether logo USDT $0.9923880525 0.04%
Cardano logo ADA $0.0614342163 -0.65%
Monero logo XMR $88.8249364581 -0.41%
Tronix logo TRX $0.018792198 -0.26%
IOTA logo IOT $0.4103437197 -0.42%