South African financial company Purple Group has confirmed the addition of two cryptocurrencies, bitcoin and ethereum, to its online trading platform. According to a representative, the decision came in response to strong demand from clients earlier this year. The move has expanded the trading options for South Africans, many of whom, according to a recent study, still believe a lot of money can be made from crypto investments.
GT247.com Trades Bitcoin and Ethereum
Purple Group, a South African financial services provider listed on the JSE, has added cryptocurrencies to its online trading platform, GT247.com, allowing its users to buy bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum (ETH), local media reported. The decision came in response to strong demand from its customers. Barry Dumas, trading specialist at the group, emphasized that GT247.com allows clients to trade directly in South African rand. “Your rands aren’t converted into dollars like some offerings out there, which can expose you to exchange risks,” he told Business Day.
Purple Group’s representative also noted that despite the decline in cryptocurrency trading volumes over the past months, the platform has seen serious interest mostly from retail clients since the launch of the service earlier this year. “We are seeing a lot more engagement from international institutions like banks and international exchanges looking to regulate cryptocurrencies, as I suspect they want it to be a legitimate asset class in the future,” he pondered.
Taking into account the current state of crypto markets, Purple Group also allows its clients to short the large cap coins, which means investors can benefit from falling prices as well. Barry Dumas pointed out, however, that according to the trading data and the strong buying interest, most clients are expecting higher prices. “We are seeing a decent spread between the bulls and bears but the bitcoin bias in the market is still to be long,” the trading specialist said.
Dumas also commented on the current trends and confirmed indications that the market is starting to stabilize. “We still see some volatility but it’s not at the levels we saw last year,” he noted. In his opinion, the reasons for that have to do with traders becoming accustomed to the crypto market and the developments towards regulating the space.
More Crypto Trading Options Offered
South Africans can also buy cryptos on local crypto exchanges like Luno and Ice3x, as well as via the local desks of international brokerage houses such as Saxo Bank. Another South African investment management company, Sygnia Ltd., announced a couple of months ago its plans to launch a crypto exchange in Q3, 2018. First National Bank is also exploring what it calls “sustainable options” to facilitate crypto trades with a growing number of its customers asking about them.
A recently released report suggests that the interest and the willingness to invest in cryptocurrencies remain relatively high among South Africans. According to the 2018 “Savings and Investment Monitor” survey, conducted by the Pan-African investment bank Old Mutual, 38 percent of the country’s residents, those aware of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, wish they had invested.
A sizable majority, 71 percent, agreed that a lot of money can still be made from crypto investments. Only 43 percent of the respondents have negative attitude towards cryptocurrencies and liken them to pyramid schemes. Measuring the general awareness of cryptocurrency in South Africa, the survey shows that 19 percent have heard of bitcoin, 17 percent admit they “know a bit about it”, and 4 percent “know a lot” about the cryptocurrency.
The Republic of South Africa is the country with the highest number of crypto trading platforms on the continent. The popularity of cryptocurrencies has been growing steadily, and so have the efforts of authorities in Pretoria to come up with regulations. The South African Reserve Bank has recently set up a unit tasked to review its position on cryptocurrencies and a “self-regulatory” approach has been previously suggested by legal experts working in the sector. Speaking to reporters, a high-ranking official of the central bank said in May that SARB does not use the term ‘cryptocurrency’ but refers to cryptos as ‘cyber tokens’ because they don’t meet the requirements of money.
Do you expect South Africa to regulate the crypto space, including trading, in the near future? Tells us in the comments section below.
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