Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are steadily gaining a bit of traction in South Africa, but for the large part they’re still an unknown legal tender.

Most online shopping sites haven’t integrated the ability to pay for goods and service by using the cryptocurrency, but local payments processing service PayFast changed all that yesterday. The company announced that all South Africa online shopping sites that make use of their service will now be able to accept Bitcoins as payment. PayFast facilitates the secure and instant transfer of money between online buyers (customers) and sellers (Takealot.com).

There are over 30 000 sites that make use of PayFast, but the most well-known one is Takealot.com. (And by the latest calculations from Google Bitcoin currency converter, one Bitcoin is worth R6699 – so they are worth a small chunk of change!)

“PayFast entered into an exciting partnership with South Africa’s biggest Bitcoin exchange, BitX, which will allow buyers to make Bitcoin payments to PayFast sellers. What makes this different from most Bitcoin platforms/transactions, is that while buyers will make a Bitcoin payment, sellers will receive South African rand in their PayFast accounts (and then, bank accounts),” PayFast said in a blog post yesterday.

When you complete your purchase and go to the checkout screen, you will be prompted to select your payment method – it is here that you select Bitcoin.

“The buyer is shown the BTC amount – at the current rate of exchange as provided by BitX— and a Bitcoin address where they should send the funds.”

[Image – Shutterstock]
Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.