Egyptians Showing Interest in Bitcoin Due to Economic Crisis and Unemployment

The news site Al-Monitor reported last week that many Egyptians were being drawn to Bitcoin because of the economic crisis and resulting unemployment.

The increase in the number of community members is a result of the financial situation in Egypt, which indicates people’s rising interest in Bitcoin and other digital currencies in general, said Muhammad Abd el-Baseer.

He is one of the leading members of the Egyptian Bitcoin community and a member of the Board of Directors, and according to him until now 16,000 Egyptians have joined the Community.

He told the newspaper that he decided to get into this business after losing his job as an entrepreneur, which had been downsized following an outbreak of coronavirus.

He has invested what he has saved in recent years in the business, encouraging thousands of Egyptians to spend their leisure time in Bitcoin and other digital currencies such as Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum. Although the Egyptian government’s decision to impose a 10 percent tax on the sale of digital currency in Egypt, “the statement said.

As per a news site report, more than half a million Egyptians have lost their jobs in the past two years, and the country’s unemployment rate rose from 7.7% in the first quarter to 9.6% in the second quarter, Egypt ranked 64th out of 154 countries in a 2020 analysis of blockchain and cryptocurrencies by Chainalysis. In Ukraine, the company ranked first, thus followed by Russia, Venezuela, and China.

The report also showed that most of the Bitcoin trade in Egypt takes place on platforms such as Bitfinex, Bitstamp, and Okex, Coinbase. Only a small part of BTC is traded in the peer-to-peer market [P2P] platforms in Egypt, “the report said.

Also, trading volume on these platforms has grown steadily, with Localbitcoins in Egypt trading at an average of $1.5 million per day in the week ending September 26, according to the report.

Interest in Bitcoin Soars in Egypt Amid Economic Crisis and Unemployment

As Bitcoin’s value has risen, many young Egyptians have begun to invest in small amounts. Egyptian law does not criminalize the trade in cryptocurrencies, “he told the news agency.

He was quoted as saying of the unexpected rise in bitcoin prices: “Many started to promote Satoshi’s 100 millionth share of a bitcoin, and I made the decision to sell at that price at a time of peak demand, and buy them when they are low demanding thus making an approx profit of 4% to 5% each day” he said.

Miners noted that bitcoin mining and trading had attracted thousands of Egyptians because it does not require much seed capital, while the savings of millions of Egyptians have shrunk because of the recession.

According to an Egyptian lawyer Mohamed Mohsen, the country’s law doesn’t criminalize deals in cryptocurrencies.

Still, he added that the responsible authorities would arrest peoples that used the cryptocurrencies for funding any crime such as fraud or financing of terror.

According to Ahmed Shuair, the government will soon legalize cryptocurrencies and said the Central bank is preparing to pass laws in January in the upcoming year, but that the coronavirus pandemic conditions have changed the bank’s priorities.

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