A University of Johannesburg professor, Rabelani Dagada has enjoined the South African government to take a final stance on cryptocurrencies if it intends to remain relevant digitally. In his words, professor Dagada stated that the country has to ‘finalize its take on digital currencies if it wants to become the hub for innovation’ on these assets.
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In the same breath, the professor argued that attempts by South African authorities to suppress the widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies are futile. In his argument, he referred to history, stating that attempts at stifling emerging innovations in the past. Professor Dagada enjoined authorities to take a cue from this.
‘Technology has prevailed against violent and regulatory opposition. During the era of the industrial revolution, some workers in Britain rioted against mechanised manufacturing firms. Blue-collar workers waged a war against technology. They physically destroyed production machinery, cotton and woollen mills.’
The professor also cited an instance of rumors that 5G technology was responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic and how some critics went about destroying mobile base stations in the UK, US and some other regions.
Financial regulators in South Africa continue to oppose cryptocurrencies, preventing mainstream adoption. Backing this point, Professor Rabelani referred to the refusal of regulators to list Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). However, he added that an ETF approval from regulators is likely to make South Africa a crypto innovation hub given its advanced financial services compared to developing economies.
Professor Dagada continued, saying new technologies have always had the upper hand. As such, cryptocurrencies, being a product of money and technology will similarly prevail. Cryptocurrencies hold ‘lots of taxable taxes’ that the country could benefit from if it officially recognizes cryptocurrencies, the professor concluded.
Cryptocurrencies have been gaining significant adoption across Africa. Although a recent report revealed that the African crypto market has surged by 1200%, there is room for more growth in the coming years.