South Africans bullish on Bitcoin resurgence

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Surveyed South Africans are optimistic about the future of Bitcoin, with around 82% of those who hold crypto-currency accounts on the Luno platform saying they expect the Bitcoin price to rise significantly over the next few months.

This is according to the Luno Customer Sentiment Survey Q3 2021, conducted online between 20 August and 20 September, across 1 870 customers of the crypto exchange in SA, Malaysia, Indonesia and the UK.

Bitcoin is trading at around $43 600 today, after reaching $50 000 at the end of August.

According the results, 82% of the 1 000 surveyed South Africans said they believe a Bitcoin resurgence is on its way, with some saying it could be as high as $100 000 next time around.

In April, Bitcoin’s price hit an all-time-high of almost $65 000; however, the highly-volatile asset has been on a decline since then.

Marius Reitz, Luno GM for Africa, says the overall survey sentiment is extremely positive, with 61% of local customers indicating their intention to hold their investment, or buy amid any price dips over the next six months.

Luno says it has seen an increase in active customers in SA, with the number of users who have bought or sold crypto on the platform up 140% over the past 12 months. Total Bitcoin trading volume across several exchanges in SA was around $25 million traded in the past 24 hours, around 56% of which was on Luno.

According to Luno, South Africans are mostly in favour of Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Reitz cautions, however, against the perception of crypto investors as extreme risk-takers seeking only short-term gains. “Just 14% of South African customers say they plan to day-trade for short-term profit for the rest of the year. On average, existing South African customers are holding their crypto for eight months before cashing out.

“In addition, we are seeing more South African customers planning how to invest their money. Over the last three months, more than one in 10 (12%) of Luno’s active South African customers have made use of the repeat buy function, which allows them to automatically purchase a set value of crypto at daily, weekly or monthly intervals. On average, they are buying around R400 worth of crypto a month.”

South African crypto-currency players believe the increasing uptake of Bitcoin will attract greater regulatory interest.

The South African Reserve Bank is currently working with the Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group, in efforts to bring clarity and protection to businesses and consumers who are in favour of digital currencies.

Luno’s South African forecasts correlate with data released last month by the Blockchain Centre, which notes the Bitcoin network continues to witness an eye-popping level of activity on its blockchain, despite the volatility.

According to the Blockchain Centre report, despite Bitcoin recently experiencing volatility, the asset is attempting to mount another resurgence towards a new record price of $100 000 this year.

Another recent report, Voyager Digital’s Q3 2021Retail Investor Sentiment Survey, shows global investor sentiment towards crypto assets is increasingly positive when looking ahead to Q4 2021.

According to the report, although the price of Bitcoin dropped as low as $29 000 during the latest price correction in June and July, the majority of surveyed investors (eight out of 10) believe Bitcoin will be above $56 000 in the next quarter, with 40% expecting the price to be above $71 000 at some point in Q4 2021.

Headquartered in London, the Luno crypto exchange, which has offices in Cape Town, says it has over eight million customers spanning more than 40 countries.

“New insights indicate the stereotypes around crypto-currency investors may not hold true. Instead, we are seeing that South Africans who own crypto are saving more regularly, have longer-term goals and are more financially-savvy. Although we operate in over 40 countries, Luno views Africa as one of, if not the most, promising region for the adoption of crypto-currencies due to its particular combination of economics and demographics,” adds Reitz.

Since Luno’s acquisition in September 2020 by Digital Currency Group, the world’s largest blockchain investor, the crypto-currency exchange says it has seen the number of global active users increase by 167%, while the number of app installs has increased 119%.

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