CryptoEgypt: Are Egyptians Free to Buy Bitcoin?

Johnny Punish from Global Thinkers digs into the issues and wonders "Are Egyptians in the Bitcoin Game?"

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Egypt bitcoin flag, national flag cryptocurrency concept black background

This past week I was in Egypt checking the scene for digital nomads and, of course, all the ancient ruins.  The ruins in Ancient Egypt are incredible.  And they are everywhere!  It’s fantastic.  For tourists, Egypt provides an incredible unique experience like no other.

But given the recent drop in the value of the Egyptian Pound, should Digital Nomads consider it?  Well, I will cover that in an upcoming episode of GT RADIO.   So stay tuned for that.

But part of that show will include access to Crypto.

As it stands right now, access to exchanges is not available.  For example, whilst in Egypt click on Coinbase.com or Bitstamp.net and you’ll get a blank screen.  Zero!  Nothing! Try a VPN and that does NOT work either!

So for those digital nomads who require access to their exchanges, it’s going to be hell not paradise in Egypt for you.

Now, for Egyptians, apparently they can purchase Bitcoin but they will need to do so through their local bank card.

Afreximbank is the most well-known bank in Egypt. The second one is Ahli United Bank, and the third one is Al Baraka Bank Egypt. They seem to be able to provide that service for the citizens.  But the banks are widely controlled and buying is completely discouraged by the Government and Central Bank, so this is not an easy deal.

It is estimated that just 3% of the population owns crypto.  It is not clear if it’s the bank holding it for them or, if they in fact, can be the owners of the bitcoin and take it with them on their USB wallets.

The politics of Egypt takes place within the framework of a republican semi-presidential system of government. The current political system was established following the 2013 Egyptian military coup d’état and the takeover of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.  Most in the world call it a practical dictatorship.

So for me, this whole thing says that Egyptians are locked out of the real full crypto game and Digital Nomads are out of luck.  So instead, they seem to just buy US Dollars and do all they can to NOT hold their failing currency.

Official estimates for 2019 showed that 29.7 percent of the Egyptian population was poor.

EGYPTIANS LOSE 50% OF THEIR MONEY IN JUST TWO YEARS!

I mean, if you only had a currency that devalued as much as the Egyptian Pound has, wouldn’t you buy Bitcoin or at least the slower-devaluing US Dollar?  If you did, you be in a much stronger position and off the begging streets of the super poor.

Here’s an example…

FACTS:

  • February 10, 2022:  1 BTC = 44083 USD / 1 USD = 15.71 EGP
  • February 10, 2023:  1 BTC = 47,456 USD / 1 USD = 30.45 EGP
    1. If an Egyptian bought 1 Bitcoin two years ago on February 10, 2022, he would have paid 692,103 EGP which is equal to $ 43,923 USD; 1 Bitcoin
    2. If he kept that Bitcoin and held it for two years, it would be worth 1,456,715 EGP or  47,450 USD which is the price of Bitcoin today.
    3. If he never bought Bitcoin and held on to his 692103 Egyptian Pounds, his value would be just $ 22,915 USD which is about a 50% loss in real purchasing power over BitCoin.

That’s the incredible situation Egyptians find themselves in.  They are virtually practically locked out of global money markets.  Instead, they are at the mercy of the bureaucrats who keep them poor and uncompetitive ultimately hurting the viability of these good people who deserve better than this unnecessary challenge.