South Africa is second only to Kenya when it comes to crypto adoption in Africa. A study by the United Nations found that 7.1% of South Africans or 4.2 million people hold crypto currencies against 8.5% of Kenyans.
Still, according to a Merchant survey, crypto uptake in South Africa is considerably lower than it would be if the banks offered a crypto service. Almost half of those questioned during the survey said that they would invest in cryptos if they could get them from the banks. Still the best crypto in South Africa is available on line.
Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency in South Africa with 56% of the share. This is followed by Ethereum (31.5%). Ripple (25.8%) and DOGE (15.6%) take third and fourth place respectively.
Crypto currency adoption is growing in Africa
Africa’s people are embracing cryptocurrencies. Poor African population traditionally had little access to the formal banking system. High transaction costs also discourage use of the formal system. Weak domestic currencies in many African countries pose a problem creating an inflationary environment and eroding the value of savings.
Today anyone with a mobile device can make financial transactions, like paying invoices and investing using cryptocurrencies even if they don’t have a bank account. Transacting with cryptocurrencies is quick and easy and a lot cheaper than banking transactions. Many African businesses are opening doors using cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrency ownership in South Africa
A Statista Global Consumer Report surveying cryptocurrency use in various countries across the world put South Africa in fifth place. The research covered 18 countries and revealed that 16% of South Africans use cryptocurrencies. By comparison, in the US, UK and Australia cryptocurrencies use is at 5%, 6% and 7% respectively.
According to a Brookings report blockchain data platform, Chainalysis found that between June 2020 and July 2021, $105.6 billion worth of cryptocurrencies entered African markets, an increase of 1,200% on the prior year. Kenyans and South Africans are the biggest users of cryptocurrencies on the continent.
African banks still have some way to go in regulating the market but they are making a start. The South African Reserve Bank plans to introduce cryptocurrency regulations within the next 18 months. It will classify cryptocurrencies as financial products so that the bank can manage issues like money laundering and tax evasion.
How have cryptocurrencies affected gaming in South Africa?
Mobile devices have made gaming online at home a reality for many people and South Africa is no exception.
In 2021, Newzoo, a games analytics company, found that 24 million South Africans play online games. This accounts for more than 40% of the country’s population, the largest market for video games on the continent. Ghana comes in second with Nigeria is in third place. Covid-19 and the growth of digitized facilities has helped the online gaming industry to grow in leaps and bounds over the last few years.
95% of gamers use their mobile devices to play so internet cafes are no longer the gathering points. Gamers are dominated by Millennials aged 21 to 38. Online games increasingly take on the language and culture of the African people who play them, encouraging greater participation.
The number of people willing to pay for online games is also growing. There are currently an estimated 186 million gamers in sub-Saharan Africa, increasing dramatically from the 77 million online gamers in 2015. 63 million Africans pay for online gaming services.
In South Africa, crypto gambling is also on the rise
In recent years crypto gambling has also become very popular in South Africa. Online gambling has been legal in the country since 2011. The relative security of cryptocurrencies is the reason that so many people have migrated to cryptocurrencies for gambling. Digital assets don’t fall prey to the same online fraud that may occur with bank transfers and credit card transactions.
The bottom line
By 2050, Africa will have the biggest population of young people on earth. With the growing interest in cryptocurrencies and associated products, we’re bound to see more Afrocentric changes in the future.