Category Archives: Luno

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Paxful P2P Claims Africa Has the Largest Bitcoin Trade Volume

Cryptocurrency is finding its feet in Africa, as US-based P2P crypto marketplace Paxful is finding out this year with transaction numbers rocketing.

Paxful Inc. operates a peer-to-peer payment logistics platform which focuses on buying and selling of bitcoins. The company has just returned with impressive numbers after its leadership team visited Africa to assess its successes there.

The trip to South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana revealed that Africans are turning to Bitcoin in ever increasing numbers with Paxful’s transactions alone standing at R948 million ($66 million) per month. Over the past year, Paxful transactions from SA increased by 25%, by 60% in Nigeria and by up to 100% in other parts of the continent. For Africa as a whole, Paxful has seen a 225% increase in users in the last 12 months.

The South African economy is struggling but Bitcoin continues to gain popularity with investors, writes bitcoinist.com. In April of this year, the South African Central Reserve Bank (SARB) announced moves towards overseeing cryptocurrency and fintech developments in the country, suggesting rather than taking prohibitive regulatory measures, it would introduce an investigative unit which would promote growth and innovation. The South African Revenue Service also announced a new framework for cryptocurrency taxes.

As a result, cryptocurrency adoption has started growing in the region. AsiaCrypto puts Bitcoin’s continued popularity in South Africa down to the fact that some of the country’s larger asset holders are moving into crypto. “Bitcoin” is now reported to be the trending term on SA Google search.

In South Africa, Paxful is not alone, with Luno recently announcing that it now has two million users spanning 40 countries. Another South African-based exchange, Coindirect, now trades over 40 altcoins. Paxful COO Artur Schaback comments:

“As a company, we’ve learned a lot from African consumers. For instance, we’ve improved our mobile capabilities to cater to the widespread use of smartphones on the continent. Our experience in Africa has strengthened our capability to serve consumers regardless of geographical location or origin.”

In parts of Africa, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have very little speculative value; with local currencies often struggling, cryptocurrencies are often simply used as payment for goods or transferring funds as a more viable and reliable alternative to local fiat.

Recently, countries such as Zimbabwe, South Sudan, and oil-rich Nigeria have all suffered from inflation, while others continue to go through it.  In these situations, it is hardly surprising that populations look to a more stable form of monetary solution in their daily lives. Paxful, like other exchanges operating for those on the African continent,  is beginning to see this groundswell feed through as Africans turn more readily to P2P cryptocurrency trading as a financial solution to everyday problems.

Ray Youssef, co-founder, and CEO of Paxful suggests Africans have been clever in dealing with financial barriers in some of these countries:

“The people of Africa were educating us. It really wasn’t just Bitcoin and Paxful–it was peer-to-peer finance. These folks were finding ways around all their barriers – whether foreign or domestic – using peer-to-peer finance… The same thing that Uber did for transportation and Airbnb did for hospitality, peer-to-peer financial marketplaces are doing for finance.”

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15.8 Million UK Residents Own or Are Considering Bitcoin

A recent survey by Bitcoin wallet Luno has shown the desire by UK residents for the launching of a “Bitcoin Barometer” which monitors the numbers of those currently involved in crypto.

The barometer, which was launched today, shows that an estimated 15.8 million UK residents either currently own or would consider owning cryptocurrencies in the future.

The recent survey of 2,000 UK residents by Luno indicates that over a quarter could see Bitcoin as becoming a valid currency in the future, used in the same way as traditional mainstream currencies in circulation. Some 23% wanted more information, a figure born out by previous surveys elsewhere, and a fifth of respondent said that they would like to see Bitcoin used online and in-store in retail.

Again, as other surveys have indicated, trust and understanding remain a key issue as a barrier to wider adoption in the community. Luno’s own figures reflected this with 43% of respondents admitting that they hadn’t purchased cryptocurrencies for this reason and over half called for further regulation.

Maya Kumar, company spokesman and head in the UK and Ireland, commented:

“Our survey showed that just under 2 in 5 (36%) had not purchased cryptocurrencies because they didn’t understand the concept. There are public misunderstandings around cryptocurrencies that lead to this lack of trust. We believe by making cryptocurrencies easier to understand through education and offering a user-friendly, safe platform, more people across the globe can trust, benefit from an upgrade to a better financial system.”

What came through clearly, based on the numbers, is that cryptocurrency is well established in the UK, far more so that many other nations in Europe, such as France where crypto uptake is particularly low. South Korea, Japan, and the UK currently lead the way in general cryptocurrency awareness.

Earlier this year, UK city minister John Glen suggested that regulation could be a “significant boost”  to the local cryptocurrency industry should the government be able to find an appropriate level of regulation.

 

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Dip in South African Economy Sees Rand Down and Rise in Bitcoin Trading

The South African economy is struggling with the Rand at a six-month low, but bitcoin continues to gain popularity with investors, writes bitcoinist.com.

In April of this year, the South African Central Reserve Bank (SARB) announced moves towards overseeing cryptocurrency and fintech developments in the country, suggesting rather than taking prohibitive regulatory measures, it would introduce an investigative unit which would promote growth and innovation. The South African Revenue Service also announced a new framework for cryptocurrency taxes.

As a result, cryptocurrency adoption has started growing in the region. AsiaCrypto puts Bitcoin’s continued popularity in South Africa down to the fact that some of the country’s larger asset holders are moving into crypto. “Bitcoin” is now reported to be the trending term on SA Google search.

Other factors according to AsiaCrypto is that South Africa actually benefited from the recent dip in crypto prices during 2018, as this has enabled the creation of new startup businesses. The struggling economy has also aided Bitcoin’s rise in popularity as massive selloffs in the financial market due to the Rand losing value has pushed some investors towards alternative markets, with cryptocurrency becoming a viable choice.

A recent survey conducted in South Africa maintained that one in four respondents confirmed they plan to invest in cryptocurrency in the future, and another 15% said that they would invest in mining equipment. Although, warnings of electricity hikes of up to 50% in the near future may well dampen the enthusiasm of prospective bitcoin miners.

Apart from a recent ATM being installed in Johannesburg, the cryptocurrency community has access to exchanges such as Luno and Paxful who are reportedly doing a healthy trade in Bitcoin with other pairs available. Also, the platform Coindirect enables users to buy and sell Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ripple.

A new trading platform is scheduled to be opened later this year by asset management company Sygnia.

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Indonesia’s First Blockchain Association Launches, Pushes For Fintech Regulation

The world’s fourth most populous nation today launched its first formal blockchain association, Asosiasi Blockchain Indonesia (ABI), at a press conference in the capital, boosting hopes that the Southeast Asian country may yet embrace blockchain technology.

Formed by six blockhain-related organizations with operations throughout the archipelago, the association aims to facilitate the adoption of blockchain technology in Indonesia by accelerating understanding, utilization, advancement and technological inventiveness in relation to the fourth industrial revolution.

Advocating structured blockchain regulation

During the press conference, it said that its early focus will be to work together with government and non-government institutions to assess, formulate and advocate policies for regulatory systems that would support blockchain development.

ABI supervisory board member Yos Ginting explained that despite its huge potential in Indonesia, blockchain companies operating in Indonesia currently faced challenges with the lack of a formal regulatory system relevant to modern financial technology: “This organisation was formed in order to become a platform for industry players so that they can serve as partners for the regulator and government in figuring out the most beneficial regulation.”

Its founding members are Blocktech Indonesia, Blockchain Zoo, INDODAX (formerly bitcoin.co.id, the largest exchanger in the country), Indonesian Blockchain Network, exchanger Luno, and Point-of-Sale (PoS) network PundiX.

Spreading awareness about blockchain benefits

ABI interim chairperson, also INDODAX CEO, Oscar Darmawan, acknowledged that blockchain technology and  cryptocurrency had an unclear status in Indonesia, with much of its society still having misconceptions about the two.

Despite Bitcoin getting negative press in the country in late 2017 when central bankers warned about its threat to the national currency, issuing bans on Bitcoin transactions, Darmawan said that more government agencies are looking into blockchain solutions to implement in business operations.

“The association aims to list industry players who are implementing the technology in Indonesia, so that we can build it into data that we can offer to the government,” he said.

Earlier in January, Bank Indonesia was reported by national daily Kompas to have been working on issuing a blockchain-based digital payments system to improve efficiency, while national postal service Pos Indonesia launched a current account service app built on blockchain, Digiro.in.

ABI is a member of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (KADIN Indonesia).

 

 

 

 

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