According to a recent survey conducted by the Kantar TNS on behalf of the crypto exchange Luno, South Africans invest in virtual currencies, specifically in Bitcoin (BTC) to be protected against Rand’s fluctuations.
The report covered 10 different countries, including South Africa. The survey took 1,000 participants that were at least 18 years old from the following countries: France, Indonesia, Malaysia, Ireland, Romania, Italy, Netherlands, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, the United Kingdom and South Africa.
According to the study, 69% of the respondents from South Africa said that they are familiar with cryptocurrencies. At the same time, 83% of those surveyed said that they bought cryptocurrencies as an investment.
This is very important because South Africa has experienced a depreciation of its fiat currency of 20% this year. Although compared to other emerging currencies such as the Argentine peso or Turkish lira the Rand remained in line with other emerging economies.
According to Marius Reitz, Luno country manager for South Africa explained that the world is experiencing an important shift in the evolution of money. He commented about it:
“The existing financial system was built for a non-digital age but the world now has access to new technologies like decentralized cryptocurrencies. This is enabling us to reimagine the financial system and to upgrade the world to something better.”
The report explains that in South Africa there are no regulations about virtual currencies. However, being unregulated it does not mean that this is illegal. Companies working in the cryptocurrency field self-regulate in order to be compliant with Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti Money Laundering (AML) processes.
Nevertheless, South African taxpayers have to declare their funds in cryptocurrencies. Earlier this year, the South African Revenue Service issued a statement related to cryptocurrencies in which it regards cryptos as an asset of intangible nature and that laws apply with respect to tax.
The report shows that South Africans are very familiar with virtual currencies. Something similar can be seen in Indonesia and Malaysia. European respondents, instead, do not have enough knowledge about virtual currencies to feel secure buying or using them.
Some of the challenges pointed out by the exchange are related to trust and security. There is also a lack of mass adoption, online scams and a press that considers virtual currencies as something illegal or negative. People answering the survey said that it is necessary a better consumer education so as to improve the crypto market.