One Thursday morning in sunny October Zimbabweans woke up to find that the cryptocurrency that they had been stacking up by spamming links in WhatsApp groups had finally taken off and was now in orbit. In crypto-land we call it ‘to the moon’ and ZASH (the cryptocurrency for the ‘decentralised currency for Zimbabwe’) had made many overnight millionaires, albeit ‘bond note millionaires’.

If you are in any WhatsApp groups you would have seen at least one person sharing a link telling you to join and get ‘free’ crypto in the form of ZASH. Some guys have taken it upon themselves to make sure that two to three times a day they’d religiously share their referral link in hopes that someone will click their link in annoyance.

The upshot for these affiliate marketers/ ZASH Evangelists is that they’d get 40 ZASH for new signups and other rewards depending on whether they’d send them ZASH. This definitely is a numbers game and so it’s in those people’s best interests that more people buy into ZASH and verify their identity in order to be rewarded.

But while people start going to places like Classifieds or PropertyBook to check out which house they’re going to buy ‘North of Samora’ I sadly have to be the bearer of bad news…

Unfortunately, ZASH is nowhere near becoming mainstream. Heck, even the spike in its pricing was a mirage. Allow me to explain how and why without letting the dopamine get to you.

Limited Users Benefit

The figures of the recent spike of $0.47/ZASH token were only limited to those who can transfer their tokens to the exchange. In order to qualify to be able to transfer to the exchange, one had to be within an elite group of 10 users with the highest inter-account transfers. In their Ts & Cs, the ability for one to transfer to the exchange was only afforded to 10 people, and not only that, but you could only transfer 10% of the total you’d had sent to other users that month.

Those who are not from Zimbabwe need to be schooled on how things work here. There are absurd countries, and then there’s Zimbabwe. So places people go left, others go right, in Zimbabwe, we go join a queue! What I’m trying to get at is that the logic in our teapot shaped country is truly something to behold.

Liquidity, Liquidity, Liquidity

This refers to the ease with which these new ZASH mbingas can easily convert to something that can be accepted by Mai George at Mereki. Unfortunately, that’s where a cryptocurrency exchange comes in and unfortunately in Zimbabwe, we don’t have any anymore.

Zimbabweans have been left to resort to WhatsApp and Telegram groups in order to do peer-to-peer transactions and find takers for their cryptocurrency. While this requires one to be in a hundred and one groups, it also leaves users being susceptible to scammers.

As someone who’s in a number of these groups, I seldom see anyone wanting to buy and/or sell ZASH, well, with the exception of today that is. It’s a network effect, so there are no sellers of ZASH because there are no buyers of ZASH, and vice versa.

Why would someone want to buy ZASH you ask? Yeah, I’m still tryna figure that out myself.

At the height of its popularity, there were some people selling property stands in exchange for ZASH and I did see a few offering their services in exchange for the crypto, but after the euphoria died down, graveyards are more lively than hype for ZASH.

Length x Width x Height = Volume

Just thought I’d flex that I know how to calculate the volume for a prism 😉

But on a serious note, the volume that ZASH has done in the last 24 hrs is a drop in the ocean – US$25,140 to be exact. What this means is that a total of less than half a bitcoin (bitcoin trading at US$58,000 right now) has exchanged hands giving the price reflection of $0.47 per token.

This may have been a ‘pump and dump’ done by someone in order to get the attention of people and hopefully interest in the crypto.

What is a ‘pump and dump’ you ask? Well, someone goes on a buying spree at the low prices causing the price of the token to go up. Once other users pick up that it’s rising they start buying hoping to get in on the action. Then when they buy at those higher prices, the guy/gal who bought at those lower prices then dumps on users who will be thinking that the crypto is going up.

Ever read the story about the guy who goes to a village to buy monkeys? Yeah, a lot like that.

This is just an assumption as we see it happening every day in the crypto world.

But in all honesty and fairness even if it wasn’t a ‘pump and dump’, the volume that we are talking of is very low and can’t really reflect the value of the ZASH in people’s accounts. If people are allowed to transfer, then the current rate of $0.06 (yes, it’s dropped badly since it’s All-Time High yesterday, October 13) will definitely crash to levels far lower than this.

ZASH will probably find its true price when there is a trading volume of at least 5 BTC worth per day. This is just a number that I think will reflect its acceptance in the market.

For now, just like RTGS, the value is determined by what people on the streets are willing to pay or accept for it. With there being very little utility for ZASH at the moment, I think it’s premature for anyone to get their vuvuzela out just yet.

William Chui is a cryptocurrency enthusiast, who’s passionate about seeing to it that Zimbabweans are able to make good use of the opportunity of the internet. He’s currently working on www.forextrading.co.zw and bringing forex trading to all and sundry through that project.

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Earlier this year, William joined us to share his views on the peer-to-peer Bitcoin trading scene in Zimbabwe. There are a lot of good things happening, however, there are a lot of scams and tricksters out there. He shared some of his observations on how you can better equip yourself if you are planning on joining the crypto craze.


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