Middle East, North Africa are emerging as major crypto markets- Here’s why

A new report published by blockchain intelligence firm Chainalysis shed light on some interesting news coming out of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The report found that MENA was among the top adopters of crypto, with its crypto market growing at the fastest pace.

Although this region represented a relatively smaller area, they posted impressive numbers in this industry between July 2021 and June 2022. 

The volume of crypto received by users in MENA reached $566 billion, marking a growth of 48% compared to the previous year.

Savings and remittance payments are the use cases that have been identified as the top contributors to MENA’s crypto volume.

Closer look at North Africa

Turkey, Egypt, and Morocco are three MENA countries that are among the top 30 in Chainalysis’ 2022 Global Crypto Adoption Index, coming in at 12th, 14th, and 24th spot respectively.

Turkey is the MENA leader in terms of the value of crypto received, $192 billion to be precise.

Meanwhile, Egypt recorded a year-on-year growth of over 220% in crypto volume.

It is interesting to note that both Turkey and Egypt have experienced a dramatic devaluation of their national currency recently. The presence of both countries on Chainalysis’ adoption index showed the viability of crypto as an alternative financial asset.

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After MENA, Latin America has been identified as the second fastest growing crypto market, registering a growth of 40%. 

North America took third place on the list, with a growth of 36%.

Adoption in the Middle East

Well, Saudi Arabia has been identified as the third largest crypto market in MENA, with United Arab Emirates (UAE) coming in at a fifth place.

Akos Erzse, Head of Public Policy at the Dubai-based crypto exchange BitOasis said, “this adoption is driven by young, tech-savvy early adopters with relatively high disposable incomes, that are, you know, searching for investment options, and have a conviction in crypto right now.” 

Erzse also noted the role of rising inflation in increasing crypto adoption, adding that interest in the industry is not just limited to retail clients, but institutional investors as well.

Afghanistan, which was included in last year’s crypto adoption index, lost its place on the list after Taliban authorities banned crypto, equating it to gambling activities.

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