Bitcoin in Zimbabwe: Import cars and send money to family

Bitcoin in Zimbabwe: Import cars and send money to family – Mail Bonus

Bitcoin (BTC) is a tool for freedom and economic empowerment. For one young Zimbabwean, Ovid, it turned his life around when he returned to his homeland at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

An entrepreneur who first learned about Bitcoin while living in the United States, Ovid has since built Bitcoin trading at its core. Below is Ovidy (center) pictured with Paco Bitcoin Traveler (left):

Ovidy imports cars with Bitcoin. “I really enjoy importing BMW,” he told the Cointelegraph, in addition to making peer-to-peer payments to families of friends in Kenya and abroad. In short, Bitcoin makes him hopeful for the future.

Ovidy told the Cointelegraph that he “came across Bitcoin when it was around $ 10,000” during the 2017 bull run, however, he did not invest “because I had no knowledge of it.

“I thought you could take Bitcoin one day and have $ 500; the next day you have $ 1,000 and it goes up and up.

He collected a few batches during this period, but it took several years of study and little effort to tinker with Bitcoin – such as using BitPay to pay for clothes on Amazon – before he could master the decentralized digital currency. However, this was nothing more than a hobby and experience that was soon forgotten.

Jump to the dark beginnings of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and Ovid was forced to return to Zimbabwe from the United States. In the unfortunate turn of events:

“I had nothing to do when I returned to Zimbabwe. There were no jobs, so I considered foreign exchange trading. “

The foreign exchange account asked him to deposit Bitcoin and Ovidy mentioned that he had “Bitcoin in an old Coinbase account.” He checked and to his great satisfaction, the $ 500 he had bought in 2017 and 2018 was worth more than $ 2,000.

A eureka moment, Ovidy immediately realized that he could use Bitcoin for payments and investments. He could create a job, and what’s more, a reward for himself. The Ovidy E-Wallet carrier was born.

Transfer for Ovid’s money transfer company. Source: Facebook

He intruded on his network of contacts and began to facilitate the import of cars – from BMW to Toyota to unconventional Honda – from Japan. Zimbabwe’s customers give him dollars and after that he sends Bitcoin to Japanese car dealerships. Weeks later, the cars arrive. He explained:

“It is impossible for me to send dollars to Japan because the only way to do that is through a bank. When something gives me $ 5,000 in Bitcoin, I send Bitcoin to Japan almost immediately and I already have cash here and the transaction is confirmed. Bitcoin is a faster and more secure process.

The process would take more than two weeks and involve high fees if it was done through a bank, he added.

Connected: “We do not like our money”: The story of CFA and Bitcoin in Africa

Ovidy takes a small fee from the sale of cars and balances the dollars it earns with a money transfer service that uses Bitcoin payment as opposed to. Because dollars are scarce in Zimbabwe, Ovidy receives Bitcoin from “family members around Zimbabwe,” or from the families of friends in Kenya or abroad, and sends the dollars he makes to cars instead.

Two of the cars that Ovidy recently imported, all paid for with Bitcoin. Source: Ovidy

Ovidy told the Cointelegraph that while Bitcoin adoption in Zimbabwe is growing, it is not straightforward. Many people “do not really trust Bitcoin,” and there is a significant education gap:

“At first people did not like Bitcoin because most investors would be cheated. Even me, I was cheated of $ 500 when I was learning about Bitcoin! A convincing ‘investment company’ asked me for money and I did not realize it.

He mentioned that the hardest part about adopting Bitcoin – especially for older generations – is that it is not tangible. His friend William Chui built a “Bitcoin house, using money from Bitcoin,” as a “testimony to prove to people that with Bitcoin, you can actually be financially free.”

Bitcoin House, built by William Chui, a member of Ovid. Source: Ovidy

Although education is still a barrier in the country, which I experience hyperinflation, it is hopeful. “We start small and in 10 to 15 years – and given that the younger generation can appreciate Bitcoin – a significant number of people will have to adopt Bitcoin in Zimbabwe.”