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Zim mobile payments surge to US$11bn as Bitcoin emerges stronger

Zim mobile payments surge to USbn as bitcoin emerges stronger

Zimbabwe has processed up to US$11bn through mobile and electronic transaction platforms, according to the Southern African country's Reserve Bank.

An ongoing cash shortage has forced businesses to rely on parallel markets for foreign currency to effect international transactions. For local payments, Zimbabwe is encouraging usage of mobile money, electronic transfers and internet transfers.

Locals are reportedly turning to bitcoin to bypass international payment hurdles, resulting in a surge of interest and trade in the cryptocurrency.

Data from the www.Golix.io only bitcoin exchange in Zimbabwe shows that trade worth US$1 million in bitcoin was transacted in October, while the price of bitcoin has increased to over US$13000.

"Zimbabwe continues to witness a growth in mobile financial services with the latest figures from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) showing that transactions worth US$11 billion were processed during the nine months to 30 September 2017," state owned ZTV said last week.

It quoted data from the central bank showing that during the nine-month period to the end of September, a total of 485 million transactions worth US$11 billion had been processed on mobile platforms across the country.

This was a massive 62% rise in the value of transactions effected through the same platform during the same period last year.

Central bank governor, Dr Jesimen Chipika was quoted saying the Zimbabwean reserve bank "will continue to promote efficiency, effectiveness and stability of the electronic payment systems" as the country battles liquidity challenges.

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