A recent market report by Localbitcoins suggests that traders or holders under the age of 34 are driving crypto volumes in Egypt. This rise in Egyptian crypto transactions is evidenced by P2P data which shows the crypto asset’s weekly traded volumes averaging $205,000 in much of Q1 of 2021.
The Premium on BTC
In addition to seeing increased traded volumes, Egypt has also had to contend with a growing premium that is charged on top of the crypto asset’s spot price. For instance, on March 16 2021, BTC was trading at $64,000 in Egypt yet on the same day most international exchanges had the crypto asset’s value just under $57,000.
Meanwhile, a video report shared by the P2P platform tries to offer possible reasons why crypto trading has become more popular in Egypt. In the report, it is suggested that many of the Egyptian crypto traders “are looking for additional sources of income (either through) trading or hodling bitcoin.” Further, the report notes that with 67% of the adult population currently unbanked, cryptocurrencies inevitably become a practical alternative for those that are financially excluded.
Renewed Central Bank Hostility
In the meantime, this growth in Egypt’s traded volumes suggests that traders are not too concerned with reports of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE)’s renewed hostility towards digital assets. In its latest warning, the CBE reiterates its previous stance against crypto assets such as BTC. The CBE said:
The Central Bank of Egypt asserts that trading within the Arab Republic of Egypt is only confined to the official currencies approved by the CBE. In this regard, the Central Bank of Egypt calls on all traders within the Egyptian market to use extreme caution and care and not to engage in any trading in these high-risk currencies.
However, despite this CBE “stern” warning, Egypt’s P2P data shows overall growth in that the country’s crypto traded volumes. It, therefore, appears that as interest in cryptocurrencies grows so will the growth of the actual traded volumes.