Business 20 February 2019Dennis Wafula
South Africa ranks top in ownership of cryptocurrency
Hootsuite, a social media management company, and global agency Wearesocial have rated South Africa as the top country for ownership of cryptocurrency in a recently concluded a global survey.
According to the Global Digital Report 2019, South Africa ranks first with 10.7 percent of internet users owning cryptocurrencies. The second on the list was Thailand with 9.9 percent and Indonesia landed in third place with 5.5 percent.
The survey was collected from internet users aged between 16 to 64 years from June to September last year.
Other countries in Africa, such as Kenya and Ghana, also managed to be ranked among the top 45 in the Global Digital Report.
The report is a clear indication that Africa is leading the way in blockchain technology and cryptocurrency adoption. Some are using these digital currencies to make payments both locally and internationally. Others are using cryptocurrencies for investment purposes.
The top ranking comes at a time when authorities in the country have asked the members of the public to submit their opinions on the proposed policies and regulations for digital assets in the country. The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has also issued a consultation policy paper that has many proposals for the crypto space in the country. Some of the proposals in the policy paper include leaving crypto-assets without legal tender status.
Reportedly the paper also proposes a review of the existing crypto framework. The bank stated:
“The phased approach, starting with the registration requirement, could lead to formal authorization and designation as a registered/licensed provider for crypto asset services operating in South Africa at a later stage.”
Earlier this month the South African president Cyril Ramaphosa signed the Taxation Laws Amendment Act. In the new act, cryptocurrencies no longer classifies as currencies but as “financial instruments.” This means that losses incurred by crypto taxpayers cannot be written off against profits made on other generating activities.
Last year, Paxful a peer-to-peer bitcoin market place gave a report that showed crypto growth in Africa. According to Paxful, Africa contributed to about 225 percent (about 1.2 billion) of their transaction. About 25 percent come from South Africa.
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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