Bitcoin usage increases in egypt amid economic recession. More and more Egyptians are beginning to see the benefits of trading and mining Bitcoin as an alternative source of income as the Covid-19 pandemic pushed the Egyptian economy into recession and deepening unemployment.
According to Al-Monitor, many Egyptians, particularly young people, are interested in cryptocurrencies. Wael al-Nahhas, an economist and financial advisor to several investment institutions in Egypt, said “Many young Egyptians started investing in small amounts despite the increase in the value of the bitcoin. They started mining Satoshi, which is 100 millionth of a bitcoin, and on a daily basis they are making profits of 4% to 5% from the difference between buying rates during the timing of demand decline and selling rates at the time of peak demand, besides some quarterly or yearly profits from unexpected hikes in bitcoin rates.”
Unemployment in Egypt jumped from 7.7% in the first quarter of 2020 to 9.6% in the second quarter. This means that over half a million Egyptians have lost their jobs, recent numbers from the Egyptian Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics said.
Muhammad Abd el-Baseer, a Bitcoin miner and member of the Bitcoin Egypt Community, said other factors also made it easier for people to turn towards Bitcoin. He said the move to work from home, reducing working hours, and new curfews encouraged many Egyptians to invest in Bitcoin in their spare time. He estimates more than 16,000 Egyptians have joined the Bitcoin Egypt Community. However, he noted this number could be higher as people may teach their friends and family how to invest in cryptocurrencies.
Although more Egyptians are involved in cryptocurrency mining and trading, many are worried that without adequate regulation, individuals may be harassed and accused of fraud. According to experts, a law clarifying what operations can be deemed legal or not around cryptocurrencies may arrive soon.
[image: Spencer Davis]