Bitcoin prices reach $13,500 in Zimbabwe as tension rises

Zimbabwe is on the verge of a civil war as the tension rises with the Zimbabwean armed forces taking control of the nation’s authority on Wednesday.  Afraid of their immediate history of Zimbabwean dollars is becoming worthless to repeat it sooner than ever, and the Zimbabweans believe that by converting all their assets and savings into Bitcoin they can protect their hard earnings. This gave a price upsurge to Bitcoin in their country. Bitcoin is currently being sold at USD 13,500 in Zimbabwe.

Although cryptocurrency is an unreliable asset it is often seen as a very risky bet to invest in at this moment because of its extremely volatile price. But desperate Zimbabweans don’t want to nudge this fact and are already seeking to pour their money into anything of value as political tension rises. Their sparking fears of hyperinflation that it could wipe out the amount of citizens’ savings one more time. After Zimbabwean army seised power on Wednesday, it took over the state broadcaster and announced that the President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe is placed under house arrest and trying to tamper it in any way would result in severe consequences.

From early morning queues were seen forming outside banks on Wednesday in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare to withdraw the savings. Even many were found sleeping overnight outside banks to withdraw savings. The price for a single bitcoin on Harare’s bitcoin exchange is about to become twice the price of the global bitcoin exchanges due to the country’s liquidity insurgence.

The present asking price even has beaten October’s record highs in Zimbabwe which was almost USD 10,000, according to Quartz’s report. “People are interested in bitcoin more than ever as they cannot send money outside of their localities or pay for the global transactions using the formal banks,” said Yeukai Kusangaya, a Golix bitcoin exchange trade coordinator in Zimbabwe.

He further added that “It is understandable as people have had to look for other alternatives and bitcoin is the only useful solution they have which can be used to purchase goods on Amazon or even to pay for vehicles from the international market.”

For the everyday citizens of Zimbabwe, taking a risk on bitcoin is more logical as it also offers a relative stability to their savings. Speaking to the media, Arnold Manhizwa, who currently works for an IT and telecoms company in Harare, said that “I have now changed all my reserves to bitcoin because that is the only way I can protect my investment”. Zimbabwe’s government adopted the US dollar in 2009 after the Zimbabwean dollar became worthless and wiped out savings. Severe drought, which has left a third of the population reliant on aid, has also battered an already fragile economy.

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