Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency, without a central bank or single administrator, that can be sent from user to user on the peer-to-peer bitcoin network without the need for intermediaries. Transactions are verified by network nodes through cryptography and recorded in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain.
Bitcoin is unique in that there are a finite number of them: 21 million.
Bitcoins are created as a reward for a process known as mining. They can be exchanged for other currencies, products, and services.
As of February 2015, over 100,000 merchants and vendors accepted bitcoin as payment.
The Zimbabwean government has been exploring the use of bitcoin and other digital currencies as a way to ease the country’s economic woes. In November 2017, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) announced that it was working on a framework to regulate cryptocurrencies.
The RBZ governor John Mangudya said that the regulatory framework would be finalized by the end of December 2017.
However, due to the lack of regulation in Zimbabwe, there is no easy way to buy bitcoin. There are a few options available:
LocalBitcoins: LocalBitcoins is a person-to-person bitcoin trading site where buyers and sellers can meet online or in person to trade bitcoins for cash. The site also allows users to make trades using other payment methods such as PayPal or Skrill.
Bitcoin ATMs: There are no Bitcoin ATMs in Zimbabwe at the moment but there are plans to install some in the future.
Bitcoin Exchanges: There are no Bitcoin exchanges operating in Zimbabwe at the moment but there are plans to launch one in 2018. Until then, Zimbabweans can use international exchanges such as Coinbase or Kraken.
Despite the lack of regulation, there is growing interest in bitcoin in Zimbabwe. The volatile economic situation and high inflation rate have made people look for alternative ways to store their money and bitcoins offer an attractive option.
With more awareness and education about cryptocurrencies, it is likely that more people will start using them in Zimbabwe.