How bitcoin has become Zimbabwe's crisis currency

Last week's coup saw a quadrupling of transactions at Zimbabwe bitcoin exchange Golix Credit: AP

Bitcoin has a reputation for being unpredictable, unsafe and volatile. But in Zimbabwe, which has been uprooted by political uncertainty after the army seized power from Robert Mugabe last week, it has become a safe haven for many that have fretted about their rapidly deteriorating finances.

The digital currency has been trading at up to $13,000 (£9,800) on Golix, the country's primary bitcoin exchange, over 50pc higher than bitcoin's global price of around $8,000. 

But while focus on the cryptocurrency in the West has been on its rapidly ascending price, which pushed to a new record on Monday, this is only a fraction of its appeal in some other countries.

Bitcoin, as its supporters often point out, is not controlled by any government, but is decentralised. Its rules are only made on a majority consensus, and there is a limit on how many bitcoins can be produced, which guards against inflation....

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