South Africa is by far one of the friendliest countries in the world when it comes to cryptocurrency trading. As more and more South Africans are willing to dive into the rapidly expanding homegrown digital asset market, the country is all set to get a fully functional Bitcoin ATM.
Not the First Attempt
While the move is indeed a big leap forward to simplify cryptocurrency transactions for the masses, this is not a first-of-its-kind initiative in the African nation.
The country had its first-ever Bitcoin ATM way back in 2014, although the facility at Kyalami in Johannesburg had to be prematurely shut down because of a general lack of interest among the public.
However, the crypto market has come a long way since then and, just like elsewhere in the world, has gained much traction in South Africa.
In fact, according to one assessment by Gareth Grobler of the registered trading platform ICE3X, as many as 300,000 South Africans had some form of investment in cryptocurrencies by the end of 2017. So it is much more likely that the new attempt at giving crypto enthusiast an easier alternative to the conventional exchanging channels will prove a success.
The new Bitcoin ATM will be located at Northwold Spar, Johannesburg. And if we are to go by the words of its general manager, George Neophytou, an avid crypto enthusiast himself, the timing is just perfect for the new endeavor to succeed.
“It is all awfully exciting. It will take away much the frustration of buying and selling cryptocurrency, and hopefully help make cryptocurrencies mainstream,”
If all goes as planned, the move is likely to be followed by more of these Bitcoin ATMs across the country.
While the new initiative will definitely add to South Africa’s effort to become a hotbed for crypto trading, it is NOT the first African country to have dedicated cryptocurrency ATMs. Zimbabwe and Djibouti precede it on that front.
South Africa and Cryptocurrency
South Africa boasts one of the most sophisticated financial service sectors in the continent and is currently one of the few countries in the world to levy taxation on digital assets. This is in contrast with others, like Zimbabwe, which has banned financial institutions from facilitating crypto-linked transactions.
The South African Revenue Services, a regulatory body, had earlier clarified its stand on digital assets by saying:
“The onus is on taxpayers to declare all cryptocurrency-related taxable income in the tax year in which it is received or accrued. Failure to do so could result in interest and penalties.”
According to an April 2018 survey, almost one in two South Africans were planning to invest in cryptocurrencies and/or crypto mining.