Africa and the Middle East

Welcome to another weekly blockchain news roundup from around the world. Here we present to you all the latest Bitcoin news continent by continent and country by country.

South Africa

Foreign Investment in South Africa’s Crypto Sector Grows: The crypto-sector investment is growing in South Africa as companies in this lucrative industry race to get a share of the pie. Recently, Bittrex, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world announced a USD 1.5 million seed funding for a new platform in the country.

VALR, a new exchange attracted the sizeable investment from Bittrex and marks a new trend towards diversification of crypto trading in the country which will attract further investment from around the world.

Kenya

Communities Looking to Crypto for Improved Cash Flow: Small, remote communities in Kenya are now using bitcoin for an improved cash flow experience despite the uncertainty clouding cryptocurrencies.

The East African nation famous for its tea production is expected to increase crypto adoption as it will help solve several chronic cash-related problems rampant due to poor management. Despite regulatory pressures from the government and the Central Bank, the popularity of cashless economy including cryptocurrencies has seen an all-time high in recent months which is evident from the activity on popular platforms like Remitano and LocalBitcoins.com.

Turkey

Turkey Has the Largest Number of Cryptocurrency Owners in Europe: Turkey has become the biggest crypto ownership country in the Middle East and Europe combined. According to a recent survey conducted in the country, almost 18% of all Turks declared that they owned cryptocurrencies. This is the highest rate in all of Europe despite several progressive crypto nations in the continent with much more lenient laws when it comes to cryptocurrencies.

On average, only 9% of the European responders declared that they owned cryptocurrencies. Second most number of cryptocurrency owners is in Romania, another one of the smaller countries while Luxembourg, Belgium, and France only had 4%, 5% and 6% with some of the worst numbers in the continent. The reason behind the high number of cryptocurrency users in Turkey is because of its recent fiscal problems that arose from US sanctions, resulting in the drop of Lira exchange rate by 25% before recovering again. The local cryptocurrency trading volume went up several times in the country in the backdrop of these sanctions as people began buying bitcoin to circumnavigate the effects of Lira inflation.

United Arab Emirates

UAE Firm Denies Accepting Cryptocurrency for Real Estate Deals: Emaar Properties, a real estate tycoon in Dubai that built the Burj Khalifa tower has denied that they are now accepting bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for real estate purchase/development services.

According to a company spokesperson:

“Emaar does not accept payment in digital currency. Emaar only accepts payment in government-issued currency, primarily in U.A.E. dirham and U.S. dollar.”

While the company has refuted cryptocurrency payments, once the sector goes mainstream, it is likely that the bigger companies will be more open to it in the future.

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