Bitcoin, intangible currency or cryptocurrency, which allows its holder to buy goods and services on the Internet or in real life, is wreaking havoc in Morocco at the moment, if we stick to the point. LocalBitcoins platform which reports that the month of February 2021 was the best of all for transactions in this cryptocurrency, although they have been prohibited in the Kingdom since 2017.
Unlike conventional currencies, Bitcoin, like all virtual currencies, has no central bank or any central body or financial institutions to regulate it, hence its ban by BAM, the MEF and the Moroccan Office of changes. ” In November 2017, the Moroccan Foreign Exchange Office informed the general public that transactions in virtual currency constituted a violation of exchange regulations and were liable to sanctions and fines. Financial regulators continue to view cryptocurrencies with skepticism ”, regrets LocalBicoins.
Indeed, December of the same year, Abdelatif Jouahri, wali of Bank Al-Maghrib, affirmed that Bitcoin is not a currency, but rather a “highly speculative” asset, which needs to be supervised by international bodies. Also, among other reasons invoked by the Institutions in question to ban it, the absence of regulation of the activity, no regulatory protection, no legal framework, the volatility of these currencies as well as the non-compliance with the regulations in force. , in particular those related to capital markets and foreign exchange legislation.
On the facts and the reality of the virtual field, quiet Bitcoin owes its good way across the planet to a vast over-the-counter network on the Internet. It is in a way the fruit of the marriage between the idea of peer-to-peer (P2P) or (over-the-counter) network, cryptography techniques, and the concept of money. Result: Bitcoin, and in its wake other crypto-currencies, may be giving rise to a new kind of financial system, a completely decentralized, completely free alternative monetary system. This is partly why it is not fully appreciated by our institutions.
However, faith of the specialized site Coindesk, Moroccans are more greedy for crypto-currencies. The LocalBitcoins over-the-counter trading platform is posting unprecedented levels of trading this year in the Kingdom and headlines its announcement with ” Crypto banned in Morocco, but bitcoin purchases skyrocket “. February 2021 was the “ best month in history Of the platform in Morocco in terms of trading volumes, according to Jukka Blomberg, Marketing Director of LocalBitcoins, who said about $ 900,000 worth of bitcoin was traded on the platform throughout the month. In addition, LocalBitcoins also saw a 30% increase in user registrations between 2019 and 2020, with over 700 new accounts created, Jukka Blomberg said.
Bitcoin purchases are on the rise despite the Kingdom’s cryptocurrency ban. Not tolerated, trading on peer-to-peer platforms such as LocalBitcoins has nevertheless increased steadily over the years. From November 2017 to February 2021, trading volumes on the platform saw a sharp increase of 215%. The bitcoin price race in 2020 has boosted the demand for cryptocurrency around the world.
In Morocco, a combination of curiosity and a desire for financial autonomy drives Moroccans to buy crypto, according to Insaf Nori, head of the Middle East community at cryptocurrency firm Decred. ” Some traders just want the fast earning of cryptocurrencies. Some of them want financial freedom because they don’t use banks Casablanca-based Nori told CoinDesk. And based on the principle that the Kingdom is an underbanked country (only 29% of Moroccans have access to bank accounts against an average of 44% in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region according to the World Bank, to Nori says, ” that the freedom and privacy inherent in cryptocurrencies could fuel local curiosity about bitcoin “.
And to support, ” Moroccans couldn’t buy bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies through digital asset exchanges using their credit cards. If they wanted crypto, they had to buy it in Europe or the United States. Peer-to-peer loans have made cash easier for crypto trading. Payment options on LocalBitcoins indicate the use of deposits and cash transfers to make Bitcoin transactions, made through social media platforms such as WhatsApp and Telegram. And to add, ” in April 2020, the global cryptocurrency exchange Binance added support for buying crypto with the dirham, this is a big step forward and a sign that local regulators could legalize cryptocurrencies in the future “