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Is Bitcoin Selling for $76,000 in Zimbabwe?

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Bitcoin is trading at an eye-watering 600% premium in Zimbabwe, as the country’s oppressive monetary policy drives local investors towards the decentralized ‘safe haven’ cryptocurrency.  

According to a report from financial news outlet Fxstreet on July 2, bitcoin traders in Zimbabwe and South Africa are seeing skyrocketing premiums on their bitcoin (BTC).  Amid new capital controls in South Africa and Zimbabwe’s recent ban on local trading in foreign fiat currencies, local traders have reportedly seen asking prices of as high as $50,000 per 1 BTC if they attempt to purchase the coin from abroad.

According to CoinMarketCap data, at press time, bitcoin is trading above $10,915 on South African crypto exchange Luno. Meanwhile, other commentators on social media this week claimed that bitcoin is allegedly trading at as high as $76,000 in Zimbabwe, a premium of over 600%. As appears to be corroborated by screenshots from P2P site LocalBitcoins.com shared on Twitter, at least a scattering of traders have attempted to pocket colossal gains at an asking rate of $75-76,000:

Zimbabwe is again weathering a failing national fiat currency, with an inflation rate approaching 100% this June and has seen a push from the financial sector to establish more regulatory clarity for blockchain technologies. 

As of 2017, the country has nonetheless enforced a policy of blanket bitcoin criminalization.

Elsewhere, FXStreet notes the impact of similar geopolitical and economic pressures on bitcoin traders, with Hong Kong-based exchange TideBit also seeing a premium for bitcoin, albeit less steep, against the backdrop of recent national anti-extradition bill protests.

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