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Bitcoin Price Hits $26,000 in Zimbabwe as Country’s Sole Exchange Suffers ‘Technical Fault’

Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:02 PM
Tawanda Karombo
Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:02 PM

Bitcoin traders in Zimbabwe have suffered a setback owing to a technical glitch suffered by trading platform Golix, which is failing to process or cancel orders.

Golix is the only bitcoin exchange platform in Zimbabwe and has attracted huge transaction numbers owing to foreign currency shortages in the country. Experts at Golix say bitcoin is being used to remit money to Zimbabwe as well as send money from the country as formal banking channels are out of foreign currency.

But on Wednesday, the Zimbabwean bitcoin exchange suffered a glitch which has not yet been resolved. This also comes a day after Zimbabwe suffered a massive internet outage on Tuesday which saw applications and internet platforms taken offline.

“We are currently experiencing a technical fault and our technical team is currently investigating the problem. Until the problem is fixed you will temporarily not be able to place or cancel orders,” said Golix in an email to traders and users on Thursday.

A Zimbabwean technology blog, Techzim , reported that “users expressed frustration with the downtime as the exchange was not fulfilling any orders” with no exact time having been committed to the resolution of the issue.

“Golix has become a lifesaver for users in the diasporans who send money home as the premium on BTC fetches at much as 100%, way more than what the streets are giving,” said Techzim.

The Golix email to users and traders said however that users “can still deposit or withdraw funds” through the platform. Bitcoin prices in Zimbabwe have been above $15500 this week but today’s soaring markets have pushed prices to an all-time high of $26,000.

Zimbabwe introduced local bond notes which the government claim has equal value to the greenback in November last year to fight liquidity challenges in the economy. However, these have not worked, with some companies and individuals now resorting to Bitcoin.

In October, Golix processed Bitcoin trade values amounting to $1 million as banks in Zimbabwe fail to effect international transactions on time. The Zimbabwe government also says mobile money has been on the rise, with the Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe saying Thursday that mobile wallet transactions topped $1.2 billion for the third quarter period to the end of September.

The stat, however, does not include the value of Bitcoin transactions as the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) says the cryptocurrency is not yet legal in Zimbabwe as the bank is still carrying out research into bitcoin trade and usage in the country.

Featured image from Shutterstock.