Zimbabwe’s economic crisis has prompted a Bitcoin boom within the country, where citizens are increasingly distancing themselves from Zimbabwean-based assets.
There seems to be no immediate end in sight to Zimbabwe’s economic crisis, where continual cash shortages are forcing citizens to seek alternative stores of value – among them, food, medical supplies, and now Bitcoin.
Zimbabwe’s only Bitcoin exchange at the time of writing – Bitcoinfundi – has seen trading at prices far above the present $4200 USD global average. Some prices have ranged as far off the mark as $7200 USD – an 85% premium.
According to Bitcoin.com, Zimbabwean-based economist Philip Haslam cites that Bitcoin may be beneficial to Zimbabweans; offering that “The thing about bitcoin is once you import it into the country, you don’t have the problem of the currency eroding and perishing like you have with notes — It’s a system that allows for privatized banking.”
The drive and demand behind Bitcoin is largely thanks to the distance some Zimbabwean traders have placed between themselves and Zimbabwean-based assets – the country’s government recently announced it would double the printing of ‘bond notes‘ – a parallel currency that while equal to the US dollar trades at a discount.
Other interesting initiatives have followed – for example, Bitcoin wallet provider BitMari has launched campaigns to raise cryptocurrency awareness throughout the country, where female Zimbabwean farmers and entrepreneurs continue to raise Bitcoin to assist with local farming efforts – such as purchasing equipment – through the Zimbabwe Women Farmers Accelerator.
The demand for Bitcoin may well increase in coming months, as the country’s tumultuous economy places strain on both entrepreneurs and citizens alike.
What are your thoughts? How could cryptocurrency help other struggling economies and citizens around the globe? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below!