Bitcoin is a hit in southern African countries
Even when the premium may go as high as $7,000 more than what is offered by more established exchanges like Coindesk
In developed markets, central bankers and banks are staying away from cryptocurrencies and warned investors against it. But in markets like South Africa, people are turning to cryptocurrencies precisely because they can't trust their country's bankers or state.
In countries like Kenya, citizens are actually using Bitcoin to bet on soccer matches and among other things, to subscribe to Spotify. Though, most people just buy a couple of "satoshis" in the hope of getting richer.
A WSJ report shows that the number of users in South Africa trading Bitcoin through the eToro platform rose by 671% from January to November last year.
Meanwhile, Bitcoin is not only popular down south but it's also gaining traction in countries like Sudan - where there are US sanctions imposed.
In places like these, Bitcoin is seen as a haven to navigate through the lack of banking services and limited access to foreign currencies (due to sanctions).
It's quite amazing that something like this (a virtual currency) can not only capture the imagination of developed markets but also start to infiltrate frontier ones to such an extent. I don't believe many of these people know what they're getting into, but surely one can empathise why they're resorting to such measures in a bet to get rich.