According to Triple A, a Singapore-based cryptocurrency distributor and aggregator, 0.9 million Moroccans, or about 2.4% of the overall population, own cryptocurrency.
This places the kingdom as the most populous country in North Africa and in the top 50 countries with the highest percentage of cryptocurrency users, just ahead of Portugal.
The pattern is confirmed by data from Useful Tulips, a site that tracks peer-to-peer BTC trade around the world. When measuring the entire Middle East and North Africa region, the Kingdom of the West, as it’s known locally, has been the runaway North African leader for BTC trading in the past year, pipped only by Saudi Arabia.
Crypto rules have remained unchanged in recent years, which is unfortunate for crypto fans. Morocco’s Foreign Exchange Office has stated that a “hidden payment scheme backed by no financial institution” will not be supported. While the ban enacted in 2017, it has had little effect on adoption, as evidenced by the data.
Egyptian pound is gaining ground on the Moroccan dirham
For BTC trading, the Egyptian pound is gaining ground on the Moroccan dirham. Egypt is $20,000 behind Morocco over a 30-day period, according to UsefulTulips. Even if a small percentage of Egypt’s 102 million people and $360 billion GDP partake in the “illicit” activity, it will have an impact.
Harmattan Energy plans to construct one of Africa’s largest wind farms to help Morocco’s orange-tinted future. The 900MW wind farm near Dakhla, in the Sahara region, will be in use to “power blockchain computing”. Because Bitcoin mining and trade are now illegal, the group is unable to advertise that they are mining Bitcoin.
Nonetheless, selling at least 20% of the project’s electricity output back to the Moroccan government, as announced on the project’s request for tender in 2018, could be a viable option. Harmattan expected to deliver its first results by the end of this year’s first quarter.
Binance supports crypto purchases using the Moroccan dirham
Binance also launched support for crypto purchases using the Moroccan dirham through a third-party platform called Simplex in April 2020. It operates in the same manner that Naira is in use in Nigeria to buy BTC work. It’s not as simple to buy BTC on Binance as it is in the UAE. Which has a direct fiat on-ramp, but it’s a good start.
It will be interesting to see if Moroccan legislators reverse their decision to outlaw Bitcoin. Morocco, despite the fact that it is still an underground activity, will continue to lead the push in North Africa.