Morocco banned crypto in the country but the peer-to-peer BTC trading volumes are increasing over the past three years continuously as we can see in our reports today in the cryptocurrency news below.
Morocco banned cryptocurrencies but it seems that the BTC purchases are skyrocketing in the country according to the data by LocalBitcoins which is reporting an ATH trading high this year. February was the best month for the platform in Morocco in terms of trading volumes according to LocalBitcoins CMO Jukka Blomberg said that about $900,000 worth of BTC was traded on the platform over the month. LocalBitcoins saw a 30% increase in user registrations between 2019 and 2020 with more than 700 new accounts created.
BTC purchases are rising despite the ban on crypto in North African country and in 2017 the Foreign Exchange Office informed the general public that the virtual currency transactions were an infringement on foreign exchange regulators as well as a subject to sanctions and fines. The regulators are still looking at crypto with skepticism even as the central bank investigated the benefits of a government-issued national digital currency.
Despite the ban, the trading on exchanges like LocalBitcoins is rising over the years. From 2017 to 2021 the trading volumes saw a steep 215% increase with the BTC price run upbringing the demand up across the world. In Morocco, the combination of curiosity and desire for financial autonomy is making the people purchase crypto according to Insaf Nori from Decred:
- “Some traders just want the quick gain from cryptocurrencies. Some of them want financial freedom because they don’t use banks.”
Morocco is one of the most heavily underbanked countries in the world, as per research by the World Bank from 2019 showing only 29% of Moroccan adults have access to bank accounts which is lower than the entire MENA region’s average of 44%:
- “I think that it’s just employed people who use the banks. If they are unemployed or self-employed, they just want to stock their money at their home. They just don’t use the bank.”
In 2015, an article showing that the Moroccan banking official Ismail Douiri described the reaction of low-income families to low-cost financial services program that was created with them in the mind as most were afraid by the bank and their fees:
- “These were all concerns we could have foreseen. What we didn’t expect was for our prospective new customers to say what they valued most was privacy and confidentiality.”