Raphael Jankeeparsad, a senior lecturer in the Department of Accounting and Auditing at the University of Zululand (UNIZULU), is overjoyed after winning the Best Paper award at the Southern African Accounting Association (SAAA) International Conference, held early this month (July) at the Emperors Palace in Johannesburg.
For Jankeeparsad, the award was an unexpected achievement as he considers himself to be in the “junior researcher” stage. “The SAAA International Conference is one of the largest accounting education and research conferences. Winning this award has motivated me to conduct further research into (cryptocurrency) and other topical areas.” Jankeeparsad said.
The news of his achievement has been received with sheer excitement by the Department of Accounting and Auditing. Department Head Siphelele Khomo said they are truly proud of this accomplishment.
SAAA is a body that strives to promote education and research as well as the interests of educators and researchers in the field of accountancy. It hosts its international conference biennially. The theme for this year’s conference was Breaking Barriers and Moving Boundaries.
On his paper, Jankeeparsad unpacked the concept of End-user Adoption of Bitcoin in South Africa. “Over the last three years or so, cryptocurrency, particularly Bitcoin, has taken the world by storm. My research set out to determine what factors influence individuals in South Africa to utilise Bitcoin and to investigate in what manner Bitcoin was being utilised by South Africans,” Jankeeparsad said. He added that, according to his knowledge, this was the first study of this nature to be conducted in South Africa
The academic has always had a keen interest in technology and the latest technological trends. Naturally, he was drawn to cryptocurrency as it was obtaining a considerable amount of media coverage. “Cryptocurrency began causing regulatory challenges the world over due to its decentralised nature. I discovered that in South Africa there were many Bitcoin millionaires springing up, due to the exponential increase in the value of Bitcoin, and this was the catalyst that lead to my research in this area,” he explained.
The findings of the paper indicated that South Africans primarily utilise Bitcoin as a speculative investment for profit making, as opposed to being used as a traditional currency. In addition to this, when compared with non-adopters, adopters of Bitcoin find it useful to their investment needs and perceive it to be very easy to use. They also trust the integrity of the Bitcoin network even though there have been numerous breaches and millions of rands lost due to cyber theft.
Jankeeparsad is hoping that more research into cryptocurrency will be conducted in South Africa, being a developing country. Most of the research into this area has been conducted in developed countries but, based on Jankeeparsad’s observation, South Africans have taken a keen interest in cryptocurrency as well.
- Precious Shamase
Raphael Jankeeparsad, a senior lecturer in the Department of Accounting and Auditing, is motivated to build his body of research after receiving the Best Paper award at the Southern African Accounting Association (SAAA) International Conference.