Despite numerous problems, the South African economy is going through today, it still remains as one of the desirable places for investments especially for companies operating in the cryptocurrency industry. Just recently, Bittrex Cryptocurrency Exchange made a $1.5 million investment for financing the South African VALR cryptocurrency platform.
The new crypto exchange
From the first of March 2019, Cryptocurrency traders in SA have had access to the new trading platform with 50 digital currencies available. According to Farzam Ehsani, co-founder and CEO of VALR over 1500 users have already registered on the platform which is running on a beta stage at the moment. As Ehsani reported, the majority of the users are from South Africa. Ehsani mentioned that with Bittrex on their side VALR will be able to offer competitive prices for crypto-to-crypto trading and the new exchange global liquidity. As reported, the cryptocurrency exchange will not stop the development here but will offer fiat-to-cryptocurrency exchange in summer. Comments were made by the CEO of Bittrex as well. As Bill Shihara reported South Africa has tremendous potential which is still untapped. Another VALR investor, Michael Jordaan from Montegray Capital reported that VALR will now offer a diversity that none of the other African companies can offer. He added that the VALR teams have the potential to change the landscape of the cryptocurrency industry not only in South Africa or on the African continent, but globally.
The regional hub for crypto exchange
CEOs of both companies, Bittrex and VALR, have talked about the current situation in the cryptocurrency industry in South Africa and the reasons why the country can be seen as the regional hub for the crypto exchange. As Ehsani has stated, companies in South Africa are not allowed to buy large amounts of crypto from the offshore market. It makes it hard for crypto exchanges that are operating in South Africa to access the liquidity from international markets. At the same time, South African traders want to have access to a store of value that does not depreciate as the currency of South Africa does.South African Rand has almost lost half of its value in the last decade. Moreover, according to the law, citizens are not able to transact more than $72,000 worth of currencies or foreign assets across the borders of the country. This is why cryptocurrencies, for example, Bitcoin are sold for a higher price on peer-to-peer exchanges in South Africa, than on the global market. Currently the biggest growth in cryptocurrency ownership, trading and transactions come from South Africa. At the same time, the number of workers coming from different African countries in South Africa searching for better jobs is growing. These people often use transactions to send the money back home. As VALR’s CEO reported, cryptocurrency and the availability of the new platform will bring the African communities together, as it will allow them to make transactions back home more seamlessly and cheaply. The other reason why South Africa is the best place to root the new cryptocurrency exchange is the growing interest of cryptocurrencies in the SA community. As the global survey reported, South Africa ranks as the number one country with the number of internet users that have cryptocurrencies. At the same time, the government is working on a new cryptocurrency policy that will bring more clarity to the industry. It is expected that some other countries will follow the lead of SA, which is very important for the new exchange as it is planned to expand in 20 other African countries.