As Bitcoin and Ethereum gain popularity among investors, an increasing number of users are creating cryptocurrency wallets.
The wallets are either hosted through an online provider or stored on the user’s hardware.
From these wallets, cryptocurrency owners can make transactions on a blockchain, interact with exchanges and other users, and in the case of the Ethereum blockchain, programme autonomous contracts.
Sending cryptocurrency through the blockchain is quick and easy, but using cryptocurrency in lieu of fiat currency is still limited.
South African stores and services are slower to adopt cryptocurrencies than more developed countries, but users can still buy products locally with Bitcoin or Ethereum.
There is a growing list of stores in South Africa which accept Bitcoin as a payment option – many of which offer the option by allowing users to pay with PayFast.
PayFast has partnered with South African Bitcoin exchange Luno to provide users with a way to pay for products or services with Bitcoin transactions.
This allows stores to accept Bitcoin payments using a reliable third-party provider, which has increased the amount of local online stores which accept cryptocurrency payments.
Stores which accept payment in Bitcoin are detailed on Luno’s blog and include Takealot, Raru, PiShop, FirstShop, and more.
Ethereum is not widely supported for payment in South Africa, however, due to the lack of local cryptocurrency exchanges which support the blockchain.
Bitcoin is still the most popular cryptocurrency payment option in the country.
While cryptocurrency has not been widely adopted as a cash alternative in retail stores, South African crypto owners can still purchase products and services with their preferred currency.
There are numerous virtual currency debit cards available online, which are usually linked to an online cryptocurrency wallet.
This allows users to swipe the card at a store’s point of sale, where the required amount of Bitcoin, Ethereum, or other cryptocurrency is converted into the fiat currency – rand in South Africa – accepted by the seller.
There are multiple cryptocurrency cards services which have partnered with Visa or Mastercard to extend their acceptance across the world, as their cards are accepted at many retailers and their brands trusted.
Using a card like the upcoming Visa and Mastercard-backed TenX virtual currency card, South Africans should be able to spend their cryptocurrency at any Visa or Mastercard-compatible point of sale in the country.
The compatibility of the physical cryptocurrency cards is also dependent on the linked online wallet and its regional support.
As more consumers become involved with cryptocurrency and blockchain technology continues to improve, the viability of instant cryptocurrency payments as a cash alternative will improve along with the ecosystem.