An online food store, Study263 accepts Bitcoin as a method of payment for food items such as Rice, Flour, Baked Beans, Sugar, Oil, and Macaroni. A Zimbabwean owns the store, and it aims to make these items easily accessible to ordinary people. It also wants to ensure that these goods are affordable in the face of an unstable economy in the country.
Despite Cryptocurrency’s Ban, it is Still Beneficial to Zimbabweans
Despite the ban on the use of Bitcoin in Zimbabwe, it has stepped in to help the nation at a time like this. The inflation in the prices of common commodities like oil has left many consumers unable to afford them. There is fear among people that the inflation in 2009 which led the country to abandon its fiat currency for the US dollar may be back again.
Therefore, many retail shops have been left empty with consumers buying these items in panic. The high demand for these goods has also driven up their prices. The same applies to the prices of imported goods which have been affected by the scarcity of dollars in the country.
There are no importation tax fees in the country at the moment, but it has not helped the situation. A taxless system for imported goods is one of the government’s move to handle this inflation by making it easier for those with the means to import to do so.
Online Store Discovers the High Demand for Foodstuff and its Scarcity
Study263 was only focusing on enabling Zimbabweans studying abroad to pay their tuition using cryptocurrency. Later, it discovered that there is a growing need for foodstuffs in the country. Tinashe Jani, co-founder, and chief operating officer of the company revealed that cooking oil was around $3 for two litters. But at the moment, it is currently sold at about $20.
Therefore, the platform underwent a study to find out which goods were in high demand. From its study, grocery items were known to have the highest demand. Moreover, consumers welcomed the idea of an online food store that will allow them to purchase these items at the most reasonable price easily.
In November this year, the platform was launched. It offers Salt, Sugar, Flour, Mayonnaise, Flour, Rice, Toiletries amongst other items for sale. Each of these can be paid for using either Bitcoins, Paypal, or Ecocash. Also, the foodstuffs are imported from South Africa, and they are delivered ten days after payment has been made.
Photo Credit: Bitcoinist