Crypto trading increases in Morocco despite ban on cryptocurrencies


TL;DR Breakdown

  • Crypto adoption rises in Morocco.
  • LocalBitcoins experiences rise in new users and P2P transactions.

Crypto trading in Morocco reportedly has been on the rise despite the government’s blanket ban on the currency since 2017. Moroccans have continued to buy and trade in these digital assets through peer-to-peer channels.

Apart from the Northern African country, crypto adoption has generally been on the rise in the continent with countries like Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa seeing a rise in crypto trading and many other activities involving digital assets.

Why sharp rise in crypto trading in Morocco?

Per a world Bank report in 2019, only 29 percent of Moroccan adults have a bank account. Civil Servants and individuals working for corporate organizations constitute the entire percentage of bank users in the country. All things being equal, the number must have gone up slightly two years after World Bank published the report.

However, the Central Bank of Morocco is said to be working towards a central bank digital currency (CBDCs) to improve financial inclusion while other private digital asset remains banned.

The government made it clear in 2017 that crypto trading or anybody carrying out any transaction in crypto in Morocco would be sanctioned. Amidst all these, Moroccans have continued to use crypto for their daily transactions, thanks to the financial freedom and privacy they offer.

Insaf Nori, Decred’s Middle East community manager who spoke about the continued rise in crypto trading by Moroccans amidst the ban said many want to make quick profits from them. She also said some others want to enjoy the financial freedom it offers.

LocalBitcoins sees trading volume rise

Peer-to-peer market, LocalBitcoins said the platform experienced a rise in the number of new registrations between 2019 and 2020. Jukka Blomberg, Chief Marketing Officer at LocalBitcoins made this reveal. He said trading volumes hit $900,000 for the first time ever in the region in February 2021.

Blomberg reiterated that an increase in Bitcoin’s trading volume in the region goes a long way to show that the digital asset’s ‘positive trend and increasing demand’ remains untouched in Morocco. He said in 2021 and beyond, there would be several reasons for crypto to grow more in the country.

Bitcoin adoption in Africa like Blomberg said in Morocco has continued to rise in the continent. In Nigeria, where crypto is most adopted in Africa, 60,215 BTC ($3.29 billion) has been traded in the country in the past five years, making it the world’s second-largest Bitcoin market.

Nigeria’s affinity for crypto is likely to keep rising, as regulators made it clear that Nigerians are free to trade cryptocurrencies on P2P platforms.

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John Lincoln

Lincoln contributes blockchain and crypto perspectives that meet the industry's selective information needs in a timely, undiluted fashion. His greatest wish is to share transformational technology through an engaging and easy-to-read style, making complex topics accessible to all.

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