Takealot.com has announced that customers can now use Bitcoin to shop on its site.
This follows the announcement on Thursday (17 July) that over 30,000 online sellers in South Africa can now accept the virtual currency through a partnership between local Bitcoin exchange, BitX and payment gateway, PayFast.
Takealot.com is one of the 30,000 customers of the PayFast service.
Making the announcement on Twitter, Takealot.com said the move to activate the service was due to feedback from clients presumably requesting the feature.
At the time of writing, there was no obvious indication on Takealot.com’s site that Bitcoins are accepted, but payments are possible through the Instant EFT payment method (through PayFast).
In May, Takealot.com raised $100 million (just over R1 billion) from its major shareholder, Tiger Global Management, and aims to be the largest online retailer in South Africa within the next 12 months.
Over the past five years Bitcoin has matured from being a theoretical crypto-currency to a viable transaction mechanism – though not without its controversies and downfalls.
The currency is considered to be extremely volatile, and open to potential market manipulation through cyber attacks.
In October 2013, Stellenbosch-based BitX – a market platform that allows individuals to trade Bitcoin using South African Rands – was acquired by Switchless, a provider of enterprise Bitcoin solutions.
The Exchange is currently executing an expansion strategy to bring its services to new markets, including several African countries like Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.