Bitcoin is trading at $13,500 in Zimbabwe, at almost double the value of the cryptocurrency on international exchanges. Demand for bitcoin has surged dramatically in the cash-strapped African country after the military seized power on Wednesday.
In Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital the digital cryptocurrency is currently trading at almost double the rate that it is worth on international Markets.
Bitcoin is battling a cold war with financial institutions over its credibility on international markets, to be accepted as a currency. This will go a long way in reaffirming the demand for bitcoin in developing markets. It is becoming more popular with people who want to trade in a stable currency. The hike in demand demonstrates the cryptocurrency is preferred to the US Dollar.
Zimbabwe doesn’t have its own currency, with the government adopting the U.S. dollar and South African rand, among others, as legal tender in 2009 after hyperinflation rendered the local dollar worthless. In 2008, the central bank printed a 100 trillion note, and inflation topped 500 billion percent.
The local exchange Golix, the price of bitcoin has risen almost 10 percent in Zimbabwe on news of the coup. Golix saw $1 million worth of bitcoin transactions, compared to $10,000 for the whole of 2016. Golix, an unregulated platform that also trades other cryptocurrencies including bitcoin cash, has been in operation since 2014.
Zimbabwe’s army moved into the capital, Harare, on Tuesday after a week of confrontation with President Robert Mugabe’s government and said the action was needed to stave off violent conflict in the southern African nation that he has ruled since 1980.
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