Fresh sources suggest that demand for crypto is strong across the Middle East. This comes as Bitcoin has seen massive price drops during the past few days, amid the stock market crash. Moreover, this could be a sign of things to come in the global crypto market.
Bitcoin is still a safe haven in the Middle East
Specifically, a fresh report from Coindesk indicates that interest in Bitcoin as a “safe haven” asset is stronger than ever. This is in contrast to investments in Bitcoin as a speculative asset. These details come, in turn, from small-scale traders across the Middle East.
According to the report, local Bitcoin miner and trader Rami Mohammad Ali, says the buy side of Bitcoin is “exploding”. At the same time, he also suggests that the sell-side in the local peer-to-peer market is nowhere to be seen.
Mohammad Ali also notes that his volumes are up substantially from 2019. He says that he sold a total of roughly 20 Bitcoin a month to 50 customers in September of 2019. In March, however, he has now sold 30 Bitcoin to around 90 customers.
This comes as global financial markets are crashing hard in the wake of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Although Bitcoin and the crypto industry is also facing headwinds from the coronavirus, it seems the Middle East still regards Bitcoin as a safe financial haven.
People “tend to keep Bitcoin”
According to one anonymous Iranian Bitcoin trader, people in Tehran are now beginning to hold crypto. Specifically, he said people now “tend to keep their assets in gold, dollars and housing, plus a little Bitcoin”. He continues to expand on the growing public adoption of the premier crypto:
“Bitcoin is a revolutionary product but it needs a few more revolutions. In the past, people thought Bitcoin was a new type of scam. Now Bitcoin is more trusted.”
Additionally, one Syrian trader with ties to Lebanon says that small Lebanese businesses face trouble paying their foreign invoices. As such, some are now turning to buying Bitcoin “locally with cash and liquidate it abroad through friends and family to pay their invoices.”
These are excellent examples of how regular people turn to Bitcoin and crypto in order handle everyday situations and stay safe. The stock market’s drastic fall is leaving many people increasingly disenfranchised with the traditional monetary system, as these recent examples reveal.
Rasmus Pihl is a writer for Toshi Times by day and an avid follower of the blockchain industry by night. Rasmus holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the Gothenburg School of Business, Economics, and Law and runs a Swedish marketing consulting firm. Moreover, when he isn’t writing for Toshi Times, traveling, working or changing the world in some other capacity, Rasmus is more than likely caught up in postgraduate studies.