Cryptocurrency middle east

Nimrod Lehavi. Although several Middle Eastern countries continue to restrict cryptocurrency trading and mining, digital transformation in the region has proceeded at a rapid rate. Despite the majority of blockchain startups choosing to set up shop in crypto-friendly territories such as the United Arab Emirates UAE , the next wave of crypto adoption is likely to come from citizens in unstable autocracies, as well as those in countries suffering from crushing inflation — Iran and Lebanon to name but two. A template for wider adoption in such countries can be seen in Turkey, where around one in five citizens reportedly own or has owned cryptocurrency. Deputy Minister of Treasury and Finance Sakir Ercan Gul will unveil a fresh legal framework for digital assets in October, with a view to protecting retail investors and tackling money laundering. At present, the country has the fastest inflation in all of Europe and the 13th highest inflation rate on the planet.



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WATCH RELATED VIDEO: Cryptocurrencies in the Middle East

Kazakhstan internet shutdown deals blow to global bitcoin mining operation


Bitcoin has been controversial since its beginning in , as have the subsequent cryptocurrencies that followed in its wake. While widely criticised for its volatility, its use in nefarious transactions and for the exorbitant use of electricity to mine it, Bitcoin is being seen by some, particularly in the developing world, as a safe harbour during economic storms. But as more people turn to cryptos as either an investment or a lifeline, these issues have manifested in an array of restrictions on their usage.

The legal status of Bitcoin and other altcoins alternative coins to Bitcoin varies substantially from country to country, while in some, the relationship remains to be properly defined or is constantly changing. Some countries have placed limitations on the way Bitcoin can be used, with banks banning its customers from making cryptocurrency transactions. Other countries have banned the use of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies outright with heavy penalties in place for anyone making crypto transactions.

These are the countries that have a particularly fraught relationship with Bitcoin and other altcoins. Algeria currently prohibits the use of cryptocurrency following the passing of a financial law in that made it illegal to buy, sell, use or hold virtual currencies. There is a complete ban in place on the usage of Bitcoin in Bolivia since The Bolivian Central Bank issued a resolution banning it and any other currency not regulated by a country or economic zone.

China has cracked down on cryptocurrencies with increasing intensity throughout Chinese officials have repeatedly issued warnings to its people to stay clear of the digital asset market and have clamped down hard on mining in the country as well as currency exchanges in China and overseas.

Efforts to undermine Bitcoin - a decentralised currency outside the control of governments and institutions - are largely seen as an attempt by the Chinese authorities to float their own e-currency. The PBoC is looking to be one of the first major central banks in the world to launch its own digital currency, and in doing so would be able to more closely monitor the transactions of its people.

On September 24, the PBoC went further and outright banned cryptocurrency transactions in the country. In Colombia, financial institutions are not allowed to facilitate Bitcoin transactions. The Superintendencia Financiera warned financial institutions in that they may not "protect, invest, broker, or manage virtual money operations". Bank Indonesia, the country's central bank, issued new regulations banning the use of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, as a means of payment from 1 January Bitcoin has a complex relationship with the Iranian regime.

In order to evade the worst impact of crippling economic sanctions, Iran has instead turned to the lucrative practice of Bitcoin mining in order to finance imports. While the Central Bank prohibits the trading of cryptocurrencies mined overseas, it has encouraged Bitcoin mining in the country with incentives.

Around 4. In order for the crypto industry to flourish, Iran has offered licenced miners cheap energy but requires all mined cryptos to be sold to the Central Bank. However, unlicensed mining drains more than 2GW from the national grid every day, causing power shortages. India is becoming increasingly hostile towards cryptocurrencies. On November 23, the government announced its intention to introduce a new bill to the Indian parliament which would establish a new central bank-backed digital currency as well as ban almost all cryptocurrencies.

Earlier this year, it had considered criminalising the possession, issuance, mining, trading, and transference of crypto assets. Prime minister Narendra Modi said he wanted to ensure crypto "does not end up in wrong hands, which can spoil our youth". Despite sustained efforts by authorities to block their use, cryptocurrencies are becoming increasingly popular in Iraq. The Iraqi Central Bank has been particularly hostile, issuing a statement in prohibiting their use which is still in force to the present day.

In early , the Ministry of Interior of the Kurdistan regional government issued similar guidance to stop money brokerages and exchanges handling cryptos. While the holding or trading of cryptocurrency assets isn't yet prohibited in Kosovo, the government announced a ban on crypto mining in early January, blaming a growing energy crisis. The country, which unilaterally declared its independence in , is facing historic power shortages with scheduled power cuts now being put into place to conserve energy.

In a further bid to curb energy wastage, Economy Minister Atrane Rizvanolli announced a long-term ban on crypto mining in the country. Police have been tasked with enforcing the ban as well as pinpointing mining locations throughout the country. North Macedonia is the only European country so far to have an official ban on cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others, in place. Russia passed its first laws to regulate cryptos in July , which for the first time designated cryptocurrency as property liable to taxation.

The law, which came into force in January this year, also bans Russian civil servants from owning any crypto assets. Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly linked cryptocurrency with criminal activity, calling for closer attention to cross-border crypto transactions in particular.

In July, the prosecutor general announced new proposed legislation which would allow police to confiscate cryptos deemed to be illegally obtained citing its use in bribery. Many in Turkey turned to cryptocurrency as the Turkish lira plummeted in value. With some of the highest levels of use anywhere in the world, the arrival of regulations was swift this year as inflation peaked in April.

On 16 April , the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey issued a regulation banning the use of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, directly or indirectly, to pay for goods and services. This content is not available in your region. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are heavily regulated or restricted in a number of countries around the world.

Majority of Europeans want their countries to regulate crypto, not the EU - exclusive Euronews poll. Paying with Bitcoin: These are the major companies that accept crypto as payment.

A woman walks past an advertisement for the Bitcoin cryptocurrency in Hong Kong. Cuba becomes the latest country to authorise and regulate cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Bitcoin: Which countries could follow El Salvador in making cryptocurrency legal tender? Boxes of machinery used in Bitcoin mining operations that were confiscated by police in Nazarabad, Iran. India is planning to introduce a ban on almost all private cryptocurrencies in a new clampdown. Is Paraguay set to become the second country to make Bitcoin legal tender after El Salvador?

Bitcoin's value is rallying again. But that's not what matters to most crypto traders. Biztech news.



Bitcoin ban: These are the countries where crypto is restricted or illegal

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The Bitcoin Fund listed on the Nasdaq Dubai Wednesday as the Middle East joins the crypto craze. · The fund was the first of its kind to be.

Attitude to cryptocurrencies amongst UAE consumers

Thanks for contacting us. We've received your submission. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are rolling out a red carpet of light-touch digital currency regulation, according to US market players — setting up a contrast to the US, where officials are falling all over themselves to set crypto rules. In the last few years, Saudi Arabia has ramped up its efforts to attract crypto companies: The Saudi Central Bank and Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates have been working together to learn how the two banks can adopt blockchain and digital payments. The official stamp of approval is starting to show results, Novogratz said. Meanwhile, as Saudi Arabia and the UAE are positioning themselves as a safe harbors for cryptocurrency companies, the US is making it increasingly difficult for those same companies to operate domestically, the crypto bigs contend. Take enterprise blockchain company Ripple.


CoinMENA offers new in-demand crypto assets to the Middle East

cryptocurrency middle east

A new report, published in September , by crypto forensics company Chainalysis says that Turkey is the undisputed cryptocurrency king in the middle-east region and also accounts for the highest total transaction volume in the region. The report was published this week. According to the Chainalysis Geography of Cryptocurrency Report , The Turkish lira has been remarkably springy in recent years, provoking some people to move shares of their savings to cryptocurrency. The country also had more distinguished pre-existing adoption of mobile fintech and payment platforms.

Kazakhstan is huge for crypto mining. More Videos

Countering the use of cryptocurrencies to finance terrorism in the Middle East

The legal status of cryptocurrencies varies substantially from one jurisdiction to another, and is still undefined or changing in many of them. While some states have explicitly allowed its use and trade, others have banned or restricted it. Likewise, various government agencies, departments, and courts have classified bitcoins differently. In October , the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that "The exchange of traditional currencies for units of the 'bitcoin' virtual currency is exempt from VAT" and that "Member States must exempt, inter alia, transactions relating to 'currency, bank notes and coins used as legal tender ' ", making bitcoin a currency as opposed to being a commodity. According to the European Central Bank , traditional financial sector regulation is not applicable to bitcoin because it does not involve traditional financial actors.


Kosovo bans cryptocurrency mining after blackouts

Welcome to Finextra. We use cookies to help us to deliver our services. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you may change your preferences at our Cookie Centre. Please read our Privacy Policy. Also known as a CBDC, Central Bank Digital Currency is a new type of digital currency that is operated and regulated by a monetary authority of a country. CBDC will be different from decentralized currencies like Bitcoin because it will be controlled centrally by a central bank blockchain, albeit that blockchain has potential to grow more decentralized as adoption increases and if made more public.

Rain is among the most trusted and best cryptocurrency trading platforms in the Middle East and Turkey. It allows you to buy cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

Crypto State: Southeast Asia

On Wednesday, a Canadian bitcoin fund listed on the Nasdaq Dubai exchange. The Bitcoin Fund — which was the first of its kind to be listed on a major exchange last year according to Bloomberg — is the first digital asset-based fund to list in the Middle East and North Africa. The listing "reinforces the city's position as a driving force for capital market transformation," Nasdaq Dubai said in a press release.


Kazakhstan is huge for crypto mining. Political upheaval could jeopardize that

RELATED VIDEO: The Middle East’s Blockchain Race - BSV Stories - Episode 4

France 24 is not responsible for the content of external websites. Dozens of cities across Iran have faced widespread, frequent power outages since early January. Earlier this year, several towns and cities across Iran were hit with a series of power outages. This photo was taken in Tehran on January It turns out that bitcoin farms might be one of the main causes of these outages.

The Dubai World Trade Centre DWTC will become a crypto zone and regulator for cryptocurrencies and other virtual assets, the Dubai Media Office said on Monday, part of efforts to attract new business as regional economic competition heats up.

Yehia Badawy, one of Rain's founders, says the company strongly believes in the long-term value of cryptocurrency and its blockchain technology foundation. Photo: Rain Management. The round was led by San Francisco-based cryptocurrency-focused investment company Paradigm and Silicon Valley venture capital company Kleiner Perkins. Founded in by Abdullah Almoaiqel, AJ Nelson, Joseph Dallago and Yehia Badawy, Rain will use the proceeds of the funding round to secure more licences in the Mena region, Turkey and Pakistan, enhance its technology through an advanced trading platform and grow the team. Cryptocurrencies have become a popular mode of investment over the past two years, partly spurred by increased digital adoption during the pandemic.

Unrest in the central Asian country — the second-largest centre for mining of the cryptocurrency — led to an internet blackout. Bitcoin took a hit on Thursday after the internet in Kazakhstan was shut down amid intensifying violence. The central Asian nation in recent days has been rocked by violent clashes between protesters, police and the army. The protests began in the west of the country over the weekend, after a sharp rise in fuel prices, and quickly spread through cities across the nation.


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  1. Adam

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