These days, all everybody is talking about is the huge growth and profits that is being experienced on the financial stock market in crypto currencies.
The frontrunner of the phenomenon, Bitcoin, has surpassed the $20,000 mark in December 2017 and also lost a lot of ground in that same month. Since the start of the crypto currency age we have seen approximately 20 different types of crypto “coins” and you can be sure that there are more to come.
The question then arises is what difference will this make to transactions with customers or even in a capacity as a consumer?
Although these currencies are in the early stages of the development, the legal aspects will remain the same until such time when it is impossible for legislation to avoid inequality of rights. The law is there to ensure fairness and reasonableness, but it does not prevent you from making a mistake – it just prevents your mistake from being exploited.
For now it is business as usual and whether you as a business owner accept any of these “coins” as payment for your products or services or you use them to purchase products or services, you will have to give the same rights to that client in terms of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) as they have now, and you will have the same protection as you currently do.
As times change, we will surely see amendments to legislation to keep up with the digital age that did not form part of the planning in our ancestral Roman-Dutch law.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Uys Marais obtained his LLB degree from the University of South Africa. He started his career at SEESA in 2011, after leaving practice. He is currently employed at the Provincial Manager of SEESA Consumer Protection & POPI at the Pretoria office.