The role of cryptocurrency in developing countries

Can we all agree that cryptocurrency has been extremely unstoppable in 2019? The sharp spike of Bitcoin price since April, a notable increase in mass adoption across industries, along with Facebook’s announcement on Libra, crypto has made headlines for weeks and months.

For many, trading crypto IS part of our daily lives, especially for enthusiasts in the developed countries. But for developing countries with a falling fiat currency, is cryptocurrency the high-tech way out for them?

Let’s look at the crypto landscape in South Africa.

Cryptocurrency Adoption in South Africa

South Africa might be only contributing to approx. 1% to the global GDP, but the country leads the world with the highest percentage of crypto users and is among countries with the highest adoption rate (16%) according to a recent survey published by Statista in June, closely following Turkey, Brazil, and Colombia (18%).

In light of the unstable political environment and the depreciation of South African Rand, it’s not surprising that more South Africans have started to move their assets to cryptos or alternative offshore investment opportunities to diversify their portfolios. Taking Bitcoin as an example, it might seem a volatile asset, yet under all its price swing it has actually seen an incredible increase, outstripping mainstream investments in internet firms since 2010 by 338,433,233%, while the Rand is bleeding and constantly declining to ~$15.31 against the dollar today.

To South Africans, digital assets therefore seem a more rational investment choice compared to the declining Rand: high-risk traders who are after a high reward can go for Bitcoin; or if they find it too volatile, more stable assets that are pegged to fiat currency, such as USDT, might be a better option for them.

Despite the widespread interest in crypto, most South Africans are still wary about and holding back from using crypto as indicated in a Kaspersky’s survey. Lacking a proper understanding of how crypto works, nearly a fifth of the respondents gave up on crypto just because “it became too technically complicated”, or they have had an unpleasant experience with crypto exchanges, sadly holding back the mainstream adoption and growth of crypto in the country.

The OKEx South Africa Plan

Eyeing this exciting opportunity, OKEx has taken up the challenge to bring crypto into the daily lives of the South Africans, dedicating to offering crypto enthusiasts a professional, highly secure and convenient way to trade.

Andy Cheung, OKEx Head of Operations

On a personal note, Andy Cheung, our Head of Operations, also grew up and went to school in South Africa. This is a country he adores very much and an upbringing that holds very fond memories for him. Andy’s familiarity with the market, people and connections can definitely help OKEx better serve the South African crypto lovers.

Recently, OKEx has opened a new office in the heart of Johannesburg, and with the joining of Khaya Maloney, a blockchain design solutions architect and strategic fintech business developer as our Country Manager, OKEx is officially tapping into this new market.

Want to discuss the crypto landscape in developing countries or simply meet our amazing team in person?

OKEx will be joining the first-ever crypto event in South Africa — Crypto Fest 2019 on Sept 7 in Cape Town. A proud Diamond Sponsor, we’re ready to rock at this meaningful and innovative event! Our South Africa Country Manager Khaya will also be speaking at the fest.

Get your tickets now:

We won’t just stop there — South Africa is just a starting point. Look out for our meetups in Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe in the near future. We’re ready to disrupt and bring new changes to the country.

Follow OKEx on:

Leave a Reply