Business 14 September 2018Dennis Wafula
Crypto in Africa: South Africa tops Google Trends data, gets new Sharia-based crypto
When it comes to cryptocurrency, Africa is quickly catching up. One particular cryptocurrency market gaining so much interest is that of South Africa. Recently, Google Trends data revealed that since the beginning of this year, South Africa leads in crypto search interest, followed by Ghana and Slovenia.
Despite being a crypto-friendly nation and a top player in terms of crypto trading volume, Japan and the United States fall short of South Africa when it comes to crypto search interest, according to Google.
The countries were ranked on a scale from zero to 100. South Africa received a score of 100, while the U.S. got a score of 52. Japan got the lowest score, with only 2, while Russia had 7 and Saudi Arabia had 13. A score of 100 indicated that the country had maximum popularity in terms of the fraction of the searches in that particular place, while zero meant that the region did not have data for that specific period.
The South African cryptocurrency ecosystem has grown tremendously in the last couple of months. More people are trading in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin BCH, along with BTC, ETH and LTC. There has also been an increase in cryptocurrency exchanges in the country with big exchanges like Golix setting up shop in the region.
In addition, blockchain-related startups are rising all around the country, causing people to want to know what exactly this new technology is. According to the report, in some parts of Africa, cryptocurrencies are seen as the means of breaking the shackles of poverty, while people in other places see cryptocurrencies as a means to increase development in the communities.
Data from Google Trends shows that communities in Africa have a lot of interest in blockchain and cryptocurrencies. This data proves what has been rumored in the last couple of months—Africa has the potential to become a leading continent in cryptocurrencies.
Sharia-compliant cryptocurrency comes to South Africa
A gold-backed cryptocurrency called OneGram has been launched in South Africa, and was created to be Sharia-compliant to help attract the Islamic communities to the cryptocurrency market.
According to reports, the cryptocurrency was created to bridge the gap between Muslims and the cryptocurrency market. People in the Muslim community have been very skeptical about cryptocurrencies, especially because the Sharia emphasizes actual economic activities and not speculations of the activities. Many Muslims have opted out of cryptocurrency for fear of breaking the laws.
A unit of the OneGram cryptocurrency is supported by at least one gram of physical gold in a vault. The company has also created a way for the community to still keep the principles of Islamic Zakat donations, which requires Muslims to give off a set equivalent of their wealth to charity. The company will be donating 2.5% for every transaction to a charitable organization.
OneGram was created in January 2017 by Dubai-based Ibrahim Mohammed and raised almost $84 million in its Initial Coin Offering (ICO) last year. The company said it will be reinvesting amounts generated from each transaction to buy more gold to increase the amount of gold in the vault.
Currently, there are 12.4 million OneGram coins. This number will not increase, according to the company, as the coins cannot be mined. To date, the company has managed to sell 40% of the coins.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
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