Report Gender Discrimination & Abuse: 0800 007 709

Bitcoin way to solve a South African problem

One of the problems with South Africa is the cost and logistics of anything involving banks. If I had anything to do with it, I would make it very easy for anyone to create and fund their own bitcoin wallet. It would be great if there were booths like photo booths, where you could go in and create a bitcoin wallet, print it out, and exit.

People are controlled by their finances, and their finances are mostly controlled by banks and government rules and regulations.

If everyone had a bitcoin wallet, it would mean good things for the vast majority of locals who currently don't have bank accounts or easy access to the bank, they could all be their own bank and in control of their money. More people in SA have cell phones than landlines, even less have bank accounts. In the townships and even in schools, many locals use cell phones to trade airtime with each other as a method of payment already.

Bitcoin transfer and management by cell phone would allow people to be their own bank. It would be fantastic for workers who want to send money home to family across the country, or even outside the country. Even if someone does not have a cell phone, people just need their bitcoin address, which they can give to anyone who wants to pay them money. By carrying a card on them with their public key, and an encrypted private key, the user would just need to remember the password of the account, as everyone does now with their regular bank cards. To pay for something at a store they would just need to flash their card to be scanned. The private key is encrypted so it is safe if the card is ever lost or stolen, and the user can then enter the password to allow for those funds to be deducted. If someone ever lost their card with wallet details, they could just get the same one printed again without the fear of having lost the money in that wallet. If the person felt their password was compromised, they could create a new wallet, and transfer any funds into that one, and discard the old wallet. People could also have a ‘day wallet’ for carrying normal everyday money, and a ‘savings wallet’ that is kept safe somewhere else, they could have as many as they wanted.

On the other end of the spectrum, it would be great for people and businesses who do have bank accounts. Businesses could even publish their wallet address for people to pay them easily, for auditing and transparency of their finances in cases where the money is supposed to be allocated to specific things, people could look up their address and check on them. Nonprofit and charity organizations could do this too so that people can be certain their money is going to the correct people. Wallets could be set up for specific things such as fundraisers, people will be able to check exactly how much money was raised, and who it was paid to.

If bitcoin were widely adopted you could find that banks would be forced to drop the exorbitant fees they charge to try and compete with bitcoin and keep their customers. Banks and the government would have to look at how they handle interest rates and exchange rates since bitcoin would work outside their system. The R has been in a downward spiral against the US$ since 2011, bitcoin would be a safe haven for users to store their hard-earned cash while beating the local inflation and exchange rate downward trend. The government would lose the ability to finance their expenses through increased debt and would, therefore, have to run more or less balanced budgets instead.

Bitcoin would open the door for people to crypto day trading signals more efficiently locally and internationally on a fundamental level. It could remove trade barriers and increase productivity with economic and financial transactions not being restricted by national borders, banking fees, time delays and banking rules and regulations that hinder and limit
trade. People would be able to transfer money, pay people and companies without being forced unnecessarily to go through financial institutions. Most of the time when you send money to someone in another country you have to pay to deposit money into your bank, you are charged fees for each transaction, you are charged to exchange the money into another currency, to transfer the money to another country and you are also limited in terms of the amount you are allowed to transfer, and limited to banking hours. Bitcoin removes all of this from the equation allowing you to pay someone the exact amount you want, almost instantly, with almost zero fees.

By using bitcoin we could remove unnecessary costs from the equation in retail businesses. Imagine if your business had almost zero banking fees, small business and also big businesses with multi-million Rand transactions will benefit from this. Small businesses by exorbitant fees accepting credit card transactions from customers, each transaction costs them money, and so they work that into the sale price of their product. If everyone had bitcoin as an option, retailers could drop prices and still make more profit. Loads of small businesses in SA have websites, but not all of them accept credit card transactions on their websites due to the costs involved in setting it up and the monthly charges. By accepting bitcoin, these small businesses will be able to do more business online, and it will begin to level the playing field among online retailers. Retailers could pay their staff immediately and quickly, without having to pay banks for the service and waiting 2 working days if the staff are with a different bank.

By formally introducing bitcoin to the vast SA public, advertising for it, and making it easy for people with computer access to get a wallet, many people will benefit and businesses will benefit. Regular banks can still have their place but will be forced to lower charges and give better incentives to keep customers.