Coming soon after Google Trends’ revelation that South Africans had shown the most enthusiasm in surfing the web for information about Bitcoins, a survey by Old Mutual proves that the second-largest economy of Africa is truly bubbling with curiosity about cryptocurrencies. While 43% of South Africans were under the impression that cryptocurrencies are somewhat like profit-seeking pyramid schemes, 71% agreed that they were a positive development and it allowed them to generate more value.
About 60% of the people were completely ignorant about virtual currencies and only 4% were well-researched on the topic. However, most importantly, about 38% of the people who already knew of cryptocurrencies said that they wished they had invested in crypto before. Earlier this year, in May, another survey conducted by CCN’s My Broadband publication had revealed that nearly half of the people, who had never invested in cryptocurrency before, planned to do so in 2018.
Clearly, the South African populace is rather taken by the charm of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoins. Noting the popular bent of mind, the government’s policies have also begun to reflect this particular fact. In April, the South African Revenue Service began to ask for declarations of gains and losses in virtual currency as a part of their tax statement. Rather than treating these digital currencies as monetary units, the Revenue department has simplified it by referring to them as intangible assets. In case of those who are involved in cryptocurrency mining, mined coins are considered to be stock for trading that hadn’t been liquefied yet. In May, Francois Groepe, the deputy Governor of South African Reserve Bank, expressed agreement with the Revenue officials, and stated that the virtual currencies did not fulfill all criteria to be considered as currency and are called cyber-tokens instead.