Old Mutual released an Investment Monitor Survey for South Africa after collecting data about awareness and attitude towards digital currencies. The study revealed that many South Africans have very positive views about cryptocurrencies. In fact, 38% of the respondents wish investing previously in cryptocurrency. Additionally, 71% say that people can make lots of money from digital currencies. 43% of the respondents, however, think that most digital currencies are pyramid schemes or have associations with bad activities.
53% of the participants say that they don’t know how digital currencies work with 40% unaware of their existence. Most of those who did not know about digital currencies say they would be willing to invest in crypto education.
When comparing this data with Australia, Europe, and the US, a similar survey by IPSOS indicates that 66% of Europeans know about cryptocurrencies with 33% of them agreeing that cryptocurrency is the future of online spending. The major discovery was that in European countries more than 50% of the respondents knew about cryptocurrencies. Austria had the highest rate with 79% followed by Poland which had 77%. In the United States, about 57% of the respondents are aware of digital currencies.
Even though South Africans have a positive stance about digital currencies, their central bank choses to call them cyber-tokens. They do this because they believe cryptocurrencies lack characteristics of money. At the moment, the South African government, through the central bank, set up a task force to look into the crypto market. The task force’s goal is understanding how the market works and to come up with recommendations on how to regulate it.
Previous Troubles In South Africa
In May, South African police were investigating a fraud case where countrymen lost funds worth $80 million. Many people were encouraged by BTC Global agents to invest in Bitcoin with the promise of receiving a 2% interest rate on a daily basis and 50% interest monthly. The payments were initially made every Monday, but after sometime the payments quit coming. Issues of crypto crime, and especially money laundering, have become very popular is leading to most governments deciding to regulate the digital currency markets.
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