How to Buy Bitcoins in Zimbabwe

Over the past decade or so, Zimbabwe has experienced a prolonged period of financial crisis. The situation is yet to improve. Subsequently, Zimbabweans are looking of reliable alternatives. While mobile money has turned out to be one of the viable solutions, the premiums are currently as high as 40%. These hitches justify the increased adoption of bitcoin in Zimbabwe. This article will show you how to buy cryptocurrency in Zimbabwe.

The economic situation in Zimbabwe was so bad that in 2009, the government stopped printing its currency and allowed the public to use foreign options such as the South African Rand and U.S. dollar. In 2015, the country completely switched to the U.S. dollar before reintroducing its RTGS dollar in 2019. In an effort to alleviate the crunch, the government discontinued the use of foreign currencies as legal tender.

Quick facts about cryptocurrency

  • Cryptocurrency is a digital currency that can be used for buying goods and services as well as crypto investment.
  • There are many cryptocurrencies, bitcoin and shitcoins. The most popular crypto is bitcoin, which is the one we recommend. Bitcoin is the original and the leading digital currency. It was created in January 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto. The true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto is not known.
  • As of November 20, 2021, 1 bitcoin equals 18,424,388.63 Zimbabwean dollar. While Zimbabwean dollar can be divided into 100 units, the smallest unit of bitcoin, called Satoshi, is one hundred millionth of a single bitcoin (0.00000001 BTC)

Cryptocurrency scams are on the rise all over the world including Zimbabwe. Don’t entertain social media messages or emails asking you to “join bitcoin” and get rich instantly. Beware of individuals or companies that promise huge returns on crypto investment. Learn more about cryptocurrency scams and how to avoid them.


Benefits of Cryptocurrency Trading in Zimbabwe

  • No cash withdrawal limit. Following the introduction of the new Zimbabwean dollar, the national government has collaborated with banks and mobile money providers to try and curb hyperinflation by limiting withdrawals. Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are a suitable solution to this scenario since there is no limit to the number of bitcoins you can buy or sell at a time.
  • Borderless currency. With cryptocurrencies being a globally-recognized currency, you can make transactions throughout the world. This is unlike a conventional currency like the U.S. dollar which is accepted as a means of transaction in America and not in Zimbabwe.
  • Low transfer charges. Mobile money has turned out to be on the viable alternatives to transacting in hard cash in Zimbabwe. However, its premiums are as high as 40%. Since the transfer charges of bitcoins are far lower than that, cryptocurrency in Zimbabwe could be the best solution for Zimbabwe’s financial challenges.
  • Ease of transfer. You can transact in bitcoins at the comfort of your house or office in minutes.
  • Safety. Bitcoin transactions are usually secure hence are not easily subject to fraud.
  • Not affected by inflation in a country. The previous Zimbabwean currency completely lost its value due to high inflation in the country. Since bitcoin is a global currency, its value will not be determined by Zimbabwe’s financial stability or lack thereof.

Is Bitcoin Legal in Zimbabwe?

Cryptocurrencies are cannot be controlled by any government since they are transacted virtually. In Zimbabwe, the government has forbidden commercial banks from engaging in the trade of bitcoin and other digital currencies. However, this does not make it illegal for Zimbabweans to buy bitcoin or engage in bitcoin investment in Zimbabwe. In fact, peer-to-peer transactions have soared in the country especially due to hyperinflation. However, cryptocurrencies are not recognized as a legal tender in Zimbabwe. In September this year, El Salvador became the first country in the world to legalise Bitcoin as a legal tender.

The tweet below from Mthuli Ncube, Zimbabwe’s finance minister, sparked a huge debate about the future of bitcoin in Zimbabwe.

What You Need Before You Buy Bitcoin in Zimbabwe

Before you can buy crypto in Zimbabwe, you need the following.

  • A cryptocurrency exchange in Zimbabwe. A crypto exchange is a platform that allows its users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. It is a cryptocurrency marketplace. A cryptocurrency exchange can be a local one or a global one with multi-currency support.
  • Payment method. Your payment method will depend on the cryptocurrency exchange’s supported payment method. It can be a debit card, credit card, bank transfer, money transfer such as Mujuru, Western Union, Wise (formerly TransferWise), mobile money such as EcoCash.
  • Bitcoin wallets in Zimbabwe. Cryptocurrencies are not physical currencies. Therefore, you need a secure cryptocurrency wallet to store your cryptos. Crypto wallets are of different types: mobile, web, desktop and hardware. Best bitcoin wallets in Zimbabwe include software cryptocurrency wallets such as Samourai, Blue Wallet, Muun or a hardware wallet such as Trezor and Ledger. All these are best bitcoin wallets for Zimbabwe.

Your bitcoin wallet is protected by “private keys” (a form of password). You are advised to store your cryptocurrency in a wallet that you have the private keys for (non custodial wallet). Cryptocurrency exchanges, such as the ones listed below, may have their own bitcoin wallets where you can store your bitcoin but you don’t have the full control. And as it is said in the crypto community, “Not your keys, not your coins.”

How to Buy Bitcoin in Zimbabwe

The existing forms of BTC interchange in Zimbabwe have certain advantages and drawbacks hence it is important to evaluate the features of an exchange before using it to buy cryptocurrencies in Zimbabwe. Things to consider when choosing a crypto exchange in Zimbabwe include transaction fees, delivery times, security, geographical availability, and payment methods. Once you select the exchange you want to use, you will be able to find out how to create a bitcoin account in Zimbabwe from the exchange’s website.

The following are some one of the well-established bitcoin exchanges for cryptocurrency trading in Zimbabwe.

Does Luno work in Zimbabwe?: Luno is one the leading cryptocurrency exchanges that lets you buy, sell, store and trade cryptos. Unfortunately, Luno is not available in Zimbabwe.

Paxful Zimbabwe: Paxful used to be one of the leading bitcoin exchanges in the world, which allowed users to buy cryptocurrency in Zimbabwe. The exchange shut down in April 2023.

Remitano Zimbabwe

Remitano is a peer to peer bitcoin marketplace. The marketplace is the product of Babylon Solutions Limited, a company registered in Seychelles. It allows Zimbabweans to buy and sell cryptocurrency safely. In addition, Remitano allows bitcoin holders to invest on the platform.

Accepted payment methods are bank transfer and Remitano’s BWP fiat wallet. One of the benefits of Remitano is Escrow protection. Escrow protection is a service that allows the buyer to pay the seller before receiving the coins, with the knowledge that Remitano, a trusted third party, is in possession of the coins.

Send, Deposit, Exchange, and Buy Bitcoin with Telegram Online in Zimbabwe

  • It is now possible to buy cryptocurrency in Zimbabwe, receive, exchange and send to other wallets for free using the instant messaging app, Telegram. At the moment, you can only buy with a bank card.
  • To use the feature, you need to create a wallet. You can do this by sending the bot a message with the command /start. The bot will then send you a link to create a wallet. Once you have created a wallet, you can send and receive cryptocurrencies. You should also add it to the menu (for easy access).

Pursa Zimbabwe

Pursa is one of cryptocurrency exchanges that support buying and selling of bitcoin in Zimbabwe. With Pursa affiliate program, you can earn up to 20% of Pursa’s fees when you refer people to Pursa. Supported payment methods include bank transfer and debit card (MasterCard or Visa).

Symlix Zimbabwe

Symlix is a cryptocurrency marketplace that supports many countries around the world including Zimbabwe. Buyers can pay via payment methods such as bank transfer, credit and debit card and even cash. Symlix facilitates crypto-trading with cash backed by escrow service, in a safe and secure PEP exchange (person-escrow-person).

What is bitcoin buying with cash backed by escrow? In this method, you do not meet the seller or buyer directly, you meet only verified symlix escrow agents (agents who guarantee trades safety by own funds). Pay him cash, tell PIN code and receive the crypto immediately into your wallet.

LocalBitcoins Zimbabwe: LocalBitcoins discontinued its service on February 9, 2023. For the next 12 months, existing LocalBitcoins customers will only be able to log in to withdraw their bitcoin.

Which Bitcoin Wallet is Supported in Zimbabwe: Best Bitcoin Wallet in Zimbabwe

The first step to take before buying from bitcoin interchange Zimbabwe is to acquire a bitcoin wallet. A Bitcoin wallet for Zimbabwe acts as some sort of digital bank where you can store your Bitcoins and retrieve them when you need to make a payment or make a currency exchange. When choosing a Bitcoin wallet in Zimbabwe, whether it is offline or online, it is important to evaluate all its features including its usability and security.

In general, offline wallets such as Trezor and Ledger are safer than the online ones. Additionally, when deciding which bitcoin wallet is best in Zimbabwe, it is helpful to choose a self custodial wallet, one that you will have full ownership of your keys (password). This is one of the ways of ensuring that you can access your cryptocurrency in Zimbabwe in the event of the exchange crushing. It is therefore advisable to go for bitcoin wallet used in Zimbabwe that is not connected to any Zimbabwe cryptocurrency exchange such a Blue Wallet, Samourai, Muun, etc.

Is there any bitcoin ATM in Zimbabwe? Zimbabwe used to have one bitcoin ATM in Harare that was introduced by Golix, a cryptocurrency exchange that shut down several years ago.

Key Points to Remember About Buying Cryptocurrency in Zimbabwe

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency. To own bitcoin, you need to have a bitcoin wallet available in Zimbabwe. To buy and sell bitcoin, you need to use a bitcoin exchange such as the ones we have outlined above. There are several payment options for buying bitcoin such as EcoCash, Mujuru, cash, credit card, bank transfer, etc.

Crypto shares in Zimbabwe: In November 2020, Zimbabwe Stock Exchange CEO said that its subsidiary, the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange, is open to listing cryptocurrencies subject to regulatory approval.

What Can I Do With Cryptocurrency in Zimbabwe?

The most common questions people ask are, “What do I do with my bitcoin after buying? There are many options for this. Some of them are:

  • Hodl. You can keep your bitcoin. Bitcoin is considered a store of value. This means you can hold onto your bitcoin (a practice commonly known as Hodl in the cryptocurrency community) and sell when the price goes up.
  • Collateral for fiat money loans. You can obtain a crypto backed loan by using your bitcoin as collateral. There are bitcoin loan platforms such as CoinLoan that you give out loans while keeping your bitcoin as collateral. Alternatively, you can use peer to peer bitcoin lending platforms where you lend your bitcoin to borrowers and earn interest.
  • Crypto trading. Cryptocurrency trading is a growing investment field. Basically, you buy bitcoin when the price is low and sell for fiat money when the price goes up.
  • You can also invest in bitcoin using Dollar Cost Averaging (DCA) method, where you buy a fixed amount every week or month (Further reading: How to Use DCA to Build Investment Portfolio and Best DCA Bitcoin Exchanges).

Final Thoughts on Where to Sell and Buy Bitcoin in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has been struggling to end the hyperinflation that has hit the country for years. The situation is so bad that it has introduced a new currency and banned the use of the U.S. dollar for transactions. With the current crisis, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin could just be what the country needs.

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