Binance, the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange by trade volume and userbase, has recently added a new feature on its platform that allows bank account holders in South Africa to trade cryptocurrencies directly using the Rand value.
The exchange is also BUIDLing and making provisions for other African countries to explore this feature in order to advance the use of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies in the continent.
In a recent interview with CNBC, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), the founder, and CEO of Binance gave more insight into how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the trade of cryptocurrencies in Africa.
Zhao first acknowledged that Africa is a very important market, not just for Binance but for the global cryptocurrency industry since the continent houses about 1.2 billion people. The company sees cryptocurrency as a tool that can potentially serve a purpose where there is little need for banks as it provides an alternative financial service capable of attending to a very large number of people at the same time.
When quizzed about the unstable nature of the cryptocurrency market which worries many investors, CZ noted that the high volatility is caused by the small market cap of the crypto industry coupled with the fact that “they are new instruments.”
He added that the financial crisis over the last few months had affected the crypto industry just like the financial and stock markets. However, the crypto market was quick to recover from the crash. The prices rose even after suffering from a massive hit in March, and that, according to him, is what is more important. He stated that volatility is something the industry has become used to and when it does come, “we just deal with it.”
For many years, Bitcoin and crypto critics have argued that cryptocurrencies are used by criminals and bad actors for their nefarious purposes. However, what people fail to understand is that all currencies around the world, including fiats, are used to conduct illegal activities.
Speaking on the issue, Zhao said that investors and participants in the crypto space need to focus more on promoting the good aspect of cryptocurrencies.
Conducting illegal activities is “a very small part of cryptocurrency or any currency. US dollars are used for nefarious purposes as well and other currencies as well… Cryptocurrencies also have many other use cases like cross border payments, remittances, micropayments, etc and fundraising on the blockchain globally. There is a lot of good use cases, there are some nefarious players in the space, they are some scammers, but that’s the same in any new industry. We just have to be diligent and fight the bad players and try to promote the good side of it,” CZ explained.
Finally, Zhao noted that the money printing spree embarked on by the federal governments of many countries in the world will ultimately result in hiked prices of commodities, seeing as the supply of fiat money in the ecosystem is unlimited.
In contrast cryptocurrencies, precisely Bitcoin, are limited in supply. He noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light several use cases of cryptocurrencies that were previously not very obvious.
He expressed his conviction that Binance’s expansion into other African countries will be very productive since people are now seeking for more cashless alternatives.