The concept of Bitcoin has been attracting attention from all over the world in recent years. Digital currency provides a way to achieve financial freedom regardless of one’s location or access to existing services and platforms. South Africa seems to be taking a serious liking to Bitcoin in recent weeks, as the LocalBitcoins trading volume keeps spiking week over week.
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South Africa Goes Through Financial Turmoil
Historically speaking, the increase in trading volume on LocalBitcoins in South Africa has been taking place since April of 2015. Even though a small increase is nothing to make note of these days, the volume has been steadily increasing ever since that time. Or to be more precise, the LocalBitcoins volume has grown by almost 5,000 percent in the past eleven months.
Financial trouble has been brewing in South Africa for quite some time now, as the country has gone through no less than three different finance ministers in less than a week in December of 2015. Even though Pravin Gordhan had served as a finance minister from 2009 to 2014, his appointment at the end of 2015 was a drastic move to put investors’ minds at ease.
The previous finance ministers between the end of 2014 and December 2015 have been able to reign in state spending, which was a cause for great joy among South African citizens. However, the South African Rand fell to record lows during this same period, part of which could be blamed on the increasing USD value.
A weak Rand is creating financial instability in the country, forcing residents and investors to look for other options. Bitcoin seems to prevent the answer to the problem, as this popular digital currency is available to anyone in the world, without oversight from banks or governments.
However, obtaining Bitcoin can be a bit of a problem for novice users. Luckily, there are platforms like LocalBitcoins, which connects buyers and sellers of digital currency with each other. Unlike traditional Bitcoin exchanges, LocalBitcoins will not touch customer funds at any step along the way, as they just act as a platform to connect interested parties and create a reputation system for individual users.
LocalBitcoins Usage On The Rise
It should come as no surprise to find out the Bitcoin volume against the South African Rand is seeing a healthy boost on LocalBitcoins. The transaction volume has been increasing month over month since April of 2015, and business has seriously picked up as of November of last year. This surge in Bitcoin volume appeared around the same time the country when through three ministers of finance, so there might be a correlation there.
At the time of publication, LocalBitcoins reached a weekly volume of 12 million South African Rand in the past week. This is quite an increase compared to the last week of February in 2015, as the volume then was sitting at 251,254 Rand. To put this into numbers people can relate to, the LocalBitcoins volume in ZAR increased from US$16,624.66 per week to US$746,240.43 in less than one year.
What are your thoughts on this major LocalBitcoins trading volume in South Africa? Will this trend continue? Let us know in the comments below!
Source: Coin Dance
Images courtesy of LocalBitcoins, Shutterstock