The flagship cryptocurrency, bitcoin has in the course of time gained wider acceptability and user cases. Many bitcoin-related initiatives and projects have been embarked upon across the globe. It is thus not surprising that a couple countries including Djibouti and Zimbabwe operate bitcoin Automated Teller Machine (ATM), with the Republic of South Africa becoming the latest country to follow suit.
Reports indicate that South Africa, the most prosperous African nation is to have its first functional Bitcoin ATM. Bitcoin and many other digital currencies aren`t new to South Africa. Many of its citizens are very much involved in investments and transactions related to cryptocurrency. A report estimates that as at the end of last year, “200, 000 to 300 000 people resident in South Africa were involved in some form of cryptocurrency dealings. The figures are expected to shoot up significant by close of this 2018.
Reports suggest that whereas a neighboring country, Zimbabwe has imposed a ban that prohibits banks within the country from dealing in cryptocurrency payments and transactions, South Africa`s doors are increasingly becoming open to cryptocurrency trading. South Africa is noted to have attained the enviable status of having the most sophisticated financial services sector on the continent and a pioneer in cryptocurrency taxation in Africa.
South Africa`s first attempt to introduce bitcoin ATM, starting from Kalami in Johannesburg was a flop primarily because user interest was low; very few clients patronized the service. It`s recent introduction can be considered a rebound of the initiative. This time however, there are clear indications that such a service will enjoy massive patronage, considering the fact that bitcoin users have increased substantially over the last couple of years and if managed properly it would most likely travel the long haul.
This latest attempt at introducing bitcoin ATM is being spearheaded by Northwood Spar. It`s general manger, George Neophytou has reportedly expressed optimism about the viability of the current project, noting that the timing for this initiative was so right on point.
South Africa has in recent times been considered by many cryptocurrency analysts as a hub for digital enterprises, transactions and innovations. It has come to light that Golix.com, a Zimbabwen-based cryptocurrency exchange plans to establish a new office in South Africa as the company embarks on an agenda to make inroads into many African countries.
Neophytou is upbeat about the future of the cryptocurrency market in Africa and foresees a future where digital currencies are commonly used in day to day purchases just as is done with physical cash. “It is all awfully exciting. It will take away much of the frustration of buying and selling cryptocurrency, and hopefully help make cryptocurrencies mainstream,” Neophytou stated.
Significant inroads are expected to be made into mainstream trading, investments and payment options. An estimated 47% of South Africans intend to invest in cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency mining, a recently published CCN report has indicated.
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