Estimates from Triple A, a cryptocurrency provider and aggregator in Singapore, indicate that 0.9 million people, or roughly 2.4% of Morocco’s total population, currently own cryptocurrency.
This puts the kingdom first in North Africa and in the list of the top 50 holders of the cryptocurrency population, just ahead of Portugal.
Data from Useful Tulips – a worldwide peer-to-peer bitcoin trading tracking platform – confirms this trend. The Kingdom of the West, as it is known locally, was the unbridled North African leader in bitcoin trading last year, only surpassed by Saudi Arabia when evaluating the entire MENA region.
Unfortunately for crypto enthusiasts, there has been no change in crypto laws in recent years. According to the Moroccan Foreign Exchange Office, it will not support “a hidden payment system that is not supported by any financial institution.” While the law went into effect in 2017, the ban has not hampered adoption and as the data shows, Moroccan crypto enthusiasts continue to circumvent the ruling.
Nearby, the Egyptian pound is earning from the Moroccan dirham for bitcoin trades. In the 30-day period, UsefulTulips shows that Egypt is $20,000 short of catching up with Morocco. Bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading remains illegal in Egypt, but even if a tiny percentage of its 102 million population and $360 billion GDP engage in “illicit” activity, it will move the needle.
To boost Morocco’s orange-hued future, Harmattan Energy is set to build one of the largest wind farms in Africa. The gigantic 900MW wind site located in Dakhla, the Sahara region, is intended to “power blockchain computing.” Since Bitcoin mining and trading is currently prohibited, the group cannot explicitly claim Bitcoin mining.
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However, as Cointelegraph reported on the project’s call for bids in 2018, selling at least 20% of electricity production to the Moroccan government could be a viable solution. The first results from Harmattan are expected at the end of the first quarter of this year.
Elsewhere, in April 2020, Binance added support for crypto purchases using Moroccan dirhams via a third-party platform, Simplex. It works the same way you buy Naira for BTC in Nigeria. It is not as easy to buy BTC on Binance as it is in the neighboring UAE, which has a head-on-the-slope chance, but it is a promising start.
Time will tell if Moroccan lawmakers reverse the Bitcoin ban. As it stands, Morocco will continue to lead the offensive in North Africa even though it remains a clandestine activity.