As Bitcoin’s price hikes have hit record highs this year, South Africa’s business sector is beginning to come online, growing the nation’s bitcoin ecosystem. Bidorbuy, South Africa’s version of Ebay, was a relatively early company into the space, beginning in Spring of last year. Since then, the company reports sales are steadily growing after a few bumps along the way.
Approximately a year and a half ago, the South African online market, Bidorbuy, the largest of its kind in the country, began what was then-viewed as a radical experiment: the Johannesburg company allowed its customers to pay in bitcoin.
The company uses the Ebay model, which brings together sellers and buyers in an auction environment. It’s a haven for smaller sellers in the region where buyers can often purchase goods and services at a discount.
Its CEO, Jaco Jonker, explained that while transactions in the world’s most popular cryptocurrency remain a fraction of the site’s overall revenue, “the adoption rate of this new and not very well understood method of payment is promising and we expect to see steady growth in the future.”
“As with any innovation, it takes time for people to get used to it,” he told Tech Financials.
Although the first full year saw a “steady increase both in the number and in the value of transactions paid with the bitcoin digital currency,” summer produced “a noticeable decline, which can be attributed to the upheavals in the bitcoin community,” the article asserts, most-likely referring to the bitcoin cash fork.
By fall, “the number of bitcoin payments on Bidorbuy increased by threefold,” and “the value of goods purchased with bitcoin increased almost 6.5 times,” Tech Financials notes.
South Africa’s clearing house, Bitcoinzar, lists still more businesses ready to accept and trade in bitcoin. Despite operating on a comparatively smaller scale, there are a variety of businesses entering the bitcoin ecosystem, including roofing and waterproofing businesses, IT companies, website designers, and HVAC and air conditioning services, just to name a few.
Even the rather bold step of including cryptocurrencies in retirement portfolios is being attempted, as reported by Business Tech. This summer South Africa established a new volume of bitcoin trading. And just over a month ago, also reported in these pages, the country’s second largest retailer announced its plans to accept bitcoin. All of these efforts provide more choice for customers, and they’re an encouraging sign for the region’s burgeoning bitcoiners.
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