Financial matters: Bitcoin is halving, should I care? – The South African

Fewer new Bitcoins are becoming available, and miners have to work harder to earn these limited tokens. Just over 18 million of the 21 million coins available have been mined, however getting to the last remaining coin will only be possible by 2140 due to halving.

In a world where money is printing itself out of value, Bitcoin is the anti-inflation currency, in theory at least. Consumers around the globe don’t have equal access to cryptocurrencies, and most individuals could not be bothered about Bitcoin and the crypto space. In South Africa the reality is that most people who are working get paid in rand straight into their bank accounts and the opportunity to get paid with and to buy anything with Bitcoin is limited.

Bitcoin and South Africa

The Fintech space is opening the concept of banking to a new previously unbankable class. It is also enabling cryptocurrencies in South American countries where hyper-inflation has all but destroyed their local currencies and economies. In Europe, Banco Sella, an Italian bank has started offering Bitcoin as a stable and safe way to transfer money during the lockdown, acting as a middleman to manage these transactions. Examples of Bitcoin use are growing, and it’s not the unknown world currency anymore, it’s actually very common, just not so common in South Africa.

So the relevance of Bitcoin halving may be lost on the majority of South Africans, however there will be those individuals who have noticed how investment funds, the rand and a host of other previously safe investment options are no longer devoid of high risk. The way we approach commerce and anything financial has forever been altered by the lockdown crisis. The price increase of gold during the lockdown period is demonstrating the primal move back to the security offered by a
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