It is estimated that over 3.0 million people, 3.0% of Egypt’s total population, currently own cryptocurrency.(1)
Egypt – North Africa’s crypto hub?
Egypt takes the 24th spot among the top 30 in Chainalysis’ 2022 Global Crypto Adoption Index.(2) Use cases involving the preservation of funds and remittance payments, along with more tolerant cryptocurrency rules, serve to explain why.
The appeal of cryptocurrencies for the preservation of savings has increased in Egypt due to quick fiat currency devaluations. Egypt’s annual urban consumer inflation accelerated to a higher-than-expected 13.6% year-on-year in July 2022 from 13.2% in June 2022.(3)
Egypt’s remittance market also plays a significant role. Remittance payments account for about 8% of Egypt’s GDP, and 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.(4)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.(2)During the same period, transaction volume in Egypt tripled compared to the preceding year, making it the region’s fastest-growing cryptocurrency industry.
Crypto Market Sentiment in Egypt
Bitcoin mining and trading are popular among young Egyptians. Egyptian economist Wael al-Nahhas said young Egyptians “started investing in small amounts despite the increase in the value of the bitcoin” and noted that bitcoin mining and trading are attracting thousands of Egyptians.(5)
There are other reasons why cryptocurrency trading has grown in popularity in Egypt. According to a video report shared by a P2P platform, it is suggested that many of the Egyptian crypto traders “are looking for additional sources of income (either through) trading or holding bitcoin.” Further, the report notes that with 67% of the adult population currently unbanked, cryptocurrencies inevitably become a practical alternative for those that are financially excluded.(6)
Crypto’s rising popularity in Egypt
CBE studies using central bank digital currency – January 2023 The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) revealed that it is studying applying Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). CBE indicated that CBDCs are safe and stable, as an alternative to other types of cryptocurrencies and their risks regarding the digital economy, financial inclusion and digital financial services, as a continuation of the steps taken by CBE against the spread and circulation of cryptocurrencies.
Middle East & North Africa’s Crypto Markets Grow More Than Any Other Region – October 2022 Middle East & North Africa (MENA) may be one of the smaller crypto markets in the 2022 Global Crypto Adoption Index, but it’s also the fastest growing, out of which, Egypt ranks 24th place. MENA-based users received $566 billion in cryptocurrency from July 2021 to June 2022, 48% more than they received the year prior.