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Morocco leads Bitcoin use in North Africa

Estimates show that 2.4% of Moroccans use cryptocurrencies and it is the second most used country in the MENA region
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Despite the lack of regulations (its use is not yet officially recognised), Morocco has become the leading North African country in Bitcoin trading in 2021. Triple A, a Bruneian company that imports and exports these cryptocurrencies, has revealed that approximately 2.5% of the Moroccan population owns cybercurrencies.

The news has also been confirmed by several expert portals in this area. Cointelegraph, another of the websites carrying cryptocurrencies, has confirmed that Morocco is the number one in North Africa, and also enters the top 50 ranking with the most citizens holding this money, ahead of Portugal. The UsefulTulips platform has also confirmed the news, adding that the Alawi country is the second nation in the MENA region in Bitcoin trading, second only to Saudi Arabia.

Bitcoin trading volumes have been growing steadily in the Kingdom for the past three years. LocalBitcoins claims that 2021 has seen historic transfers of these coins and claims that February was the best month ever. During that season, Jukka Blomber, the platform's marketing director, said that around $900,000 had been moved in the Alawi country in that month alone. He also confirmed that, compared to previous years, user registrations increased by 30 per cent, with more than 700 new accounts created to use cryptocurrencies
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Moreover, the use of cryptocurrencies in Morocco is steadily increasing. LocalBitcoins reports that, from November 2017 to February 2021, trading volumes on the platform have seen a 215% growth, making the race for cryptocurrency use in Morocco one of the most demanded things by Moroccan users.

Morocco is one of the countries that have banned cryptocurrencies and their use, both by institutions and by the government. In the Kingdom, any commercial activity involving cryptocurrencies is banned and prohibited. Today, there is still no clear regularisation of this sector to allow its legal use within the country, but, even so, the data reveal that Moroccans use this cyber money to make transactions among other things.

Morocco's foreign exchange bureau has already spoken out against the creation of laws related to cryptocurrency, which it is totally against. "Morocco will not admit a hidden payment system that is not backed by any financial institution," the bureau said. But its 2017 ban has not posed any problems for the platform's users.

The ban is shared with more countries in North Africa, such as Egypt. UsefulTulips stressed that this nation is also experiencing a boom in virtual currencies, adding that the Egyptian pound is about to overtake the dirham in Bitcoin exchanges

REUTERS/CHRISTINNE MUSCHI  -   Un trabajador comprueba los ventiladores de los mineros, en la operación de cultivo de criptodivisas
REUTERS/CHRISTINNE MUSCHI - A worker checks the miners' fans at the cryptocurrency farming operation.

Morocco's legislation still does not allow its use, and it is not yet clear what will happen in the future. But even so, several companies that do trade in them are trying to invest in them within Morocco in order to support their legalisation. One such brand is Harmattan Energy, which is in the process of setting up one of Africa's largest wind farms in the city of Dakhla, which would provide 900 MW (megawatts). The drawback of the Bitcoin ban has stalled all construction and the firm is still unable to carry out its project.  The government insists that the idea is not allowed to be realised, but as reported by Cointelegraph in 2018, these could use at least 20% of the electricity generated by the park and may provide a solution to get the plan off the ground.

Many African countries deny and ban the use of cryptocurrencies. Several experts have spoken out on the issue, as despite the ban, people are increasingly joining the trend. Insaf Nori, community manager of Decred - a cryptocurrency brand - says that Moroccans are making use of this money due to curiosity and a desire for financial autonomy, adding that this is replicated in all places that have bans on Bitcoin.