As of late, many people have been questioning whether bitcoin qualifies as a “safe haven” asset. Some say no, considering it was not able to withstand the pressures caused by panic over the coronavirus.
The Middle East Sees Bitcoin Differently
However, it looks like many traders and miners in the Middle East would disagree. Evidence suggests that bitcoin and other forms of crypto qualify as safe havens in these states, given they face tough economic conditions and sanctions brought on by the U.S.
One person – Rami Mohammad Ali, a miner and trader in Palestine – says people in his area have been purchasing bitcoin and other digital assets like crazy over the past several weeks. At the time of writing, he claims to have sold approximately 30 bitcoin units to about 90 separate customers. This is huge compared to the numbers he experienced six months ago, when he sold only 20 units to about 50 customers.
He says the big appeal of bitcoin is that can be accessed easily. In addition, it can be quickly dispersed to people who are overseas. Many of his buyers are family members of individuals who are stationed or working abroad. They purchase the coins and distribute them as needed to the people they care for.
A bitcoin trader in Tehran, Iran – who wished to remain anonymous – also claims that the citizens of his country are beginning to show newfound interest in bitcoin, and that many are likely to house a little here and there along with small reserves of cash and gold. He states:
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.
Companies like Gate Trade – which analyze the financial habits and patterns of companies in the Middle East and abroad – say that there are approximately 30 business ventures in Iran alone that utilize cryptocurrencies over standard fiat.
Mohammad Alsobhi – a bitcoin trader in Yemen – says that while the crypto arena in his region has not been particularly huge over the past few years, this is starting to change. He says he’s noticed more bitcoin trades occurring, along with a higher level of crypto meetup groups. He says bitcoin’s presence in Yemen is growing steadily, and that he wishes he had the equipment necessary to mine new coins.
An Excluded Country Making the Rounds
If I had the capabilities available in developed countries, I would have made great progress in this field. Most companies that deal globally… are excluding Yemen.
At press time, it appears the nation has fallen into the “war-torn” category, and that many companies – such as Google Pay – are not willing to offer their services to its people, making the financial space very limited for residents.