What is Cryptocurrency?
In plain explanation, cryptocurrency is digital money. Means no physical coins or bills, just online money. This digital currency can be used to purchase regular goods and services but uses an online ledger with strong cryptography to secure online transactions. There are more than 5 000 different cryptocurrencies in circulation and we will look into a few of those. While cryptocurrency is a novel and an exciting asset class, purchasing it can be risky as you would have to research about it first to fully understand how it works.
Top 3 Cryptocurrencies in South Africa
- Bitcoin – it is a type of money that is completely virtual. Each Bitcoin is a computer file stored in a “digital wallet” app on a smartphone or computer. You can buy Bitcoins using real money or you can sell things and let people pay you with Bitcoins.
- Ethereum – this is a decentralized software platform that enables Smart Contracts and Decentralized Applications (DApps) to be built and run without downtime, fraud, control or interference from a third-party goal.
- Litecoin – launched in 2011 among the first cryptocurrencies to follow in the steps of Bitcoin. Although it is like Bitcoin in many ways, it has a faster block generation rate and hence offers a faster transaction confirmation time.
This is just to name a few and common ones other than Bitcoin. It is legal to buy and sell Bitcoin in South Africa. SARS has issued warnings regarding the risks associated with trading in Bitcoin but there is no actual ban on any form of cryptocurrency trading.
While the crypto currency industry is currently unregulated in most parts of South Africa, local regulators are taking towards developing a framework for crypto currency in South Africa. One of these steps has been establishment of Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group (IFWG) during the latter part of 2016. The rise of Crypto currencies is one of the many innovations of the technological revolution that consumers are experiencing. Whilst the fintech industry remains largely unregulated at this stage, governments are increasingly exploring ways to ensure that technologies such as crypto currencies and blockchain are utilized in a way that ensures financial stability.