WHAT THE ?!?! Zimbabwe Economy.
Cryptocurrencies have a few pretty big differences from traditional money. The average person might not care too much about them, give them a second thought, or realize their capabilities.
In countries where cash flow shortages have crippled economies, black markets will arise. Black market currency exchanging is not something new to Zimbabwe. We have experienced a few “economy crashes” and have developed the “make a plan” approach to surviving them. Cryptocurrencies enable Zimbabweans to make international payments, they are borderless. But the average person might not be interested in that as much as the he would be in the potential for him to make money. This is a similar thought process to other countries, but in Zimbabwe with our cash crisis, this provides a few savvy individuals with a hustle attitude additional opportunities other than the regular trading of these currencies on a crypto exchange.
Zimbabwe’s own cryptocurrency exchange saw a pretty astounding amount of transactions pass through it's order books in 2017 as more people heard about this opportunity. Family members and friends used this exchange to send crypto that had been bought outside of the country in. They sold the crypto at the higher prices here locally and enjoyed the profits. This is what Golix referred to as their remittance service. Arguably this was not all remittances for the sake of remitting, but also arbitrage.
When Golix installed a Bitcoin ATM which would enable customers to withdraw their bitcoin and get USD. The RBZ shut them down and froze their accounts. This was a few months ago now. These savvy individuals enjoyed the profits and needed to continue this business.
They resorted to good old word of mouth and the technology we use to communicate everyday. Just about everyone is on WhatsApp and uses that to communicate. Cryptocurrency enthusiasts over the years have made crypto groups that they use for sharing crypto related news and information. These savvy “crypto enthusiasts” use these groups as well as black market currency exchanging groups to offer their crypto up for sale or to request to purchase crypto. I have to give respect where it is due for the effort put in by these guys.
In a sense, as a cryptocurrency enthusiast myself, I’m happy to see cryptocurrencies being exchanged. This means there is a demand for them. As with all currency exchanging, I hope we get to the point that we no longer need to do this. In closing, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin were designed to be a means of payment, a replacement for banks. I would like to see more merchants accepting it as that.
Watch the video in which I talk about this here: