Orania is found in the most remote area of the Northern Cape Province in South Africa and is notorious for its exclusive population consisting of Afrikaners, who are primarily Caucasian. At the moment, the Orania Chamber of Commerce has been the only entity to offer fiat currency for their community. Even though the area only includes about 1,600 people, but they have decided to work on their own digital currency, which would be an alternative option to the Ora called the E-Ora.

In reports from the Associated Press, there was an experiment that took place early in the year. According to Daniel Dames, who is the chairman for the Chamber of Commerce in Orania, plans to provide relief for the community if there is either hyper-inflation or devaluation of the Ora.

The E-Ora is not exactly the same as Bitcoin. The main different is that they basically want to be the equivalent of the fiat currency in the area, but available digitally.

According to Dames,

“If the rand became so weak that one were to decide to walk away from it, one could perhaps couple (the E-Ora) to something else, such as a basket of currencies out there. Or something inside Orania. Something comparable that has value.”

Locally, the group is still working to establish this digital currency, so it is not active fully yet. However, some community members with access enjoy the low fees associated with shopping and transacting. Plus, the safety of using digital currency ensures that consumers will not have the risk of losing cash while out and about. Furthermore, there will not even be a need to print currency at all.

Peter Krige, who coordinates the digital currency initiative, made the following comments when the company announced the plans last year:

“It is basically electronic cash that will be moved from wallet to wallet with every transaction without the commercial banks standing in the middle. In this way friction and cost is removed from the transaction. Both consumers and retailers will save between three and five per cent per transaction.”

While the digital currency is being tested out, the fees are about 0.5% of the transactions. The enthusiasts of keeping this new currency believe that it will help maintain their “culture” of exclusivity. The community is still in its infancy, only having been established in 1991 and measuring 8,000 hectares. Their biggest source of revenue for the community is tourism, though agriculture comes as a close second. They even have only a 2% unemployment rate, which is 24% less than the rest of South Africa.

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