Of the $566 billion in cryptocurrency transaction volume for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region between July 2021 and June 2022, nearly 40% went to Turkey, which kept its place as the region’s biggest cryptocurrency market, according to the latest Chainalysis data. In Afghanistan, the Taliban’s takeover has seen the value of cryptocurrencies sent to the country drop from a peak of $68 million to less than $80,000 per month.
Turkey Cements Position as MENA’s Biggest Crypto Market
According to the latest Chainalysis data, the volume of cryptocurrency transactions by users from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) grew by 48% to $566 billion between July 2021 and June 2022. The data shows this growth rate is the fastest of any of the eight regions surveyed.
As explained in Chainalysis’ latest blog, inflation-stricken Turkey remained the MENA region’s biggest cryptocurrency market after its citizens “received $192 billion from July 2021 to June 2022” or nearly 40% of the region’s total. However, despite cementing its position as MENA’s top crypto market, Turkey’s year-on-year crypto transaction volume growth of 10.5% means the country is ranked last among the six surveyed countries.
Meanwhile, in Egypt, whose currency — the pound — is said to be overvalued, the year-on-year (YoY) growth in cryptocurrency transaction volume topped 221.7% in the period under review. Concerning the growing usage in Egypt, the Chainalysis blog stated:
Egypt’s position at the intersection of growing crypto remittances and increased inflationary pressures help explain why it’s the fastest-growing crypto market in all of MENA this year. Between July 2021 and June 2022, transaction volume in Egypt tripled compared to the preceding year.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the MENA region country with the next highest (194.8%) YoY growth in its cryptocurrency transaction volumes. Crisis-torn Lebanon is in third place with a YoY growth of 120.9%, and is followed closely by Morocco with 120.8%.
Impact of the Taliban’s Takeover
In Afghanistan, which used to be the MENA leader in grassroots crypto adoption, the Taliban’s takeover in August 2021 has led to a sharp drop in the country’s onchain activity, the report noted. From the $68 million which Afghan residents received “in the average month” before the Taliban’s takeover, the country has been seeing an average volume of under $80,000 per month since November 2021.
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