A professor with the University of Johannesburg, Rabelani Dagada, has urged South Africa to finalize its cryptocurrency public policy if the country still wants to become a hub for digital currency innovation.
History Will Repeat Itself
In an opinion published by Itweb, Dagada warned South African authorities that the continued efforts to stifle cryptocurrencies will not achieve the intended objectives. He adds that regulators must learn from history that violently opposing an emerging innovation will not kill it. He explained:
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.
Dagada also shared a recent example of how “some people in the UK and SA falsely accused 5G technologies of causing the COVID-19 pandemic, and destroyed some mobile networks’ base stations.”
Opposing Cryptocurrencies Is a Futile Exercise
While South African authorities have not violently opposed cryptocurrencies, they have however refused to allow them to go mainstream. To illustrate this point, Dagada cites the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE)’s refusal to approve the application by Sygnia to list bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETF).
Dagada insists however that if the JSE approved the application, South Africa “would possibly have become a hub of cryptocurrency innovation, especially if one considers the country has highly-sophisticated financial services among the developing economies.”
Nevertheless, Dagada points out in his opinion piece that new technologies always eventually prevail despite opposition. Similarly, just like earlier technologies, cryptocurrencies — which are a “product of money and technology”— will similarly prevail. Dagada also argued that in addition to being an exercise in futility, formalizing crypto-currencies works in favor of South Africa because such digital currencies “hold lots of taxable tax.”