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MENA region is the fastest-growing crypto market in the world

According to a new report, Egypt is the region's fastest-growing cryptocurrency industry

MENA region is the fastest-growing crypto market in the world
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

Cryptocurrency adoption has skyrocketed in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. According to a survey by blockchain analytics platform Chainalysis, MENA countries have the fastest-growing cryptocurrency industry in the world, accounting for 9.2% of global digital currency transactions from July 2021 to June 2022.

According to the report, while the MENA region is one of the smallest crypto markets, its growth to $566 billion was received in cryptocurrency between July 2021 and June 2022.

Three of the top 30 nations in this year’s Crypto Adoption Index are located in the MENA region: Turkey (ranking 12), Egypt (14), and Morocco (24).

“In Turkey and Egypt, fluctuating cryptocurrency prices have coincided with rapid fiat (traditional) currency devaluations, strengthening the appeal of crypto for savings preservation,” Chainalysis said.

With their citizens receiving $192 billion, Turkey was the MENA region’s biggest cryptocurrency market. In contrast to other nations in the area, this indicated a slower annual growth rate of 10.5%, the research reveals.

Egypt is the region’s fastest-growing cryptocurrency industry, recording annual transaction volumes jumping by 221.7%. Saudi Arabia also exhibited significant potential as deal volumes increased by 195%. 

“Digital currencies are being used in Egypt as a way to preserve savings. Using cryptocurrencies to hedge against currency devaluation is appealing,” said Kim Grauer, director of research at Chainalysis.

“Also significant in the country is the use of cryptocurrency for remittances — the country’s national bank has already begun a project to build a crypto-based remittance corridor between Egypt and the UAE, where many Egyptian natives work.”

Akos Erzse, senior manager of Public Policy at Dubai-based cryptocurrency exchange BitOasis, says that the primary factors influencing bitcoin adoption in the GCC are different from those in the rest of the MENA region.

The bitcoin adoption in the GCC region is being pushed by young, tech-savvy early adopters with relatively high disposable incomes who are looking for investment possibilities and are already confident of the value of cryptocurrencies. 

This adoption involves financial institutions, banks, retail, and client users who have started collaborating with bitcoin enterprises.

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