Individuals in the MENA region received US$566 billion in cryptocurrency from July 2021 to June 2022, representing a 48% increase over the previous year, according to the 2022 Geography of Cryptocurrency report from Chainalysis.
While the previous edition of the report found that the MENA accounted for 7% of global cryptocurrency transactions, this year, the figure has risen to 9.2%, making the region the fastest growing crypto market in the world.
Focusing on the UAE, it was found that over the period of the study, the country had US$38 billion in activity, a sizable increase of 36% over transaction volumes in the previous year (US$28 billion). This makes the country the fifth largest crypto market in the region, behind Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.
Commenting on the findings, Kim Grauer, Director of Research at Chainalysis, said, “In recent years,
we have seen the UAE government introduce pioneering regulations that are helping accelerate the
adoption and utilization of cryptocurrencies in the country. Dubai has become a hub for crypto
companies that serve customers not just in the Middle East, but all across Asia and Africa.”
Kim’s sentiments are echoed by Akos Erzse, Head of Public Policy at the Dubai-based crypto
exchange BitOasis, who said, “When you look at markets in the GCC, we take the view that this
adoption is driven by young, tech-savvy early adopters with relatively high disposable incomes that
are searching for investment options, and have a conviction in crypto right now.” Moreover, adoption
is “not just on the retail or customer side, but also in the ecosystem, with financial institutions and
banks beginning to work with businesses like us.”
Erzse also emphasized the role that recent inflation has played in pushing cryptocurrency adoption.
Other key findings for the period of July 2021 to June 2022 include:
● Turkey remains the largest cryptocurrency market in the region, with its citizens having
received US$192 billion. This, however, represents slower YoY growth of 10.5% compared to
other countries in the region.
● Cryptocurrency transaction volume in Egypt tripled compared to the preceding year.
● Saudi Arabia shows a strong potential for cryptocurrency adoption as cryptocurrency
transaction volumes in the Kingdom grew by a staggering 195%.
Full findings from the MENA-focused section of Chainalysis’ 2022 Geography of Cryptocurrency report can be found here.