Research from Luno shows that South African consumers have reported higher levels of cryptocurrency familiarity and ownership. Photo: Supplied
JOHANNESBURG - Research from Luno shows that consumers from South Africa, have reported higher levels of cryptocurrency familiarity and ownership compared to their European counterparts.

Luno commissioned Kantar TNS in October 2018 to conduct a survey across 10 countries including South Africa. The findings from the South Africa survey have been featured in a report titled, ‘Why do people buy cryptocurrencies? A South African perspective’. 

In South Africa, 69% of respondents said in a survey that they were familiar with cryptocurrencies, while close to almost a third (29%) said that they owned a cryptocurrency.

"The world is currently undergoing a major shift in the evolution of money," said Marius Reitz, Country Manager for South Africa, Luno. 

Reitz added, "The existing financial system was built for a non-digital age but the world now has access to new technologies like decentralised cryptocurrencies. This is enabling us to reimagine the financial system and to upgrade the world to something better".

The findings of the research suggests that South African consumers are adapting to meet this new financial system head-on. Over 80% of respondents recognise cryptocurrencies as an investment class and are prepared to hold it over the long term. 

However, a some of the early adopters (23%) use cryptocurrencies for commercial transactions as more and more South African and online retailers recognise cryptocurrency as a payment method.

The survey also points out that 48% of South Africans are concerned about losing money when using cryptocurrencies due to phishing scams, transaction errors or other security concerns. 

Greater stability in the price of cryptocurrency was also a factor that influenced confidence in the new technology among South African respondents.