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Despite the ban, Morocco is one of the four countries that trade Bitcoin the most in Africa

Although authorities banned the use of cryptocurrency in Morocco, the latter is listed as one of the four countries that trade Bitcoin the most in Africa.

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Banned in 2017 by Morocco’s Foreign Exchange Office and central bank, cryptocurrency is still used in the country. According to a report entitled «Which Country Trades The Most Bitcoin ?», the Kingdom is the country that trades Bitcoin the most in North Africa.

The chart, produced by Local Bitcoins, a platform that facilitates over-the-counter trading of local currency for Bitcoins, ranks Morocco 36th, among the 46 countries where Bitcoin is traded. The country is positioned 4th in the African continent, behind Nigeria 7th, South Africa 10th and Kenya 23rd.

In the North Africa and Middle East region, Morocco is ranked 3rd, behind only two Arab countries, namely the United Arab Emirates 20th and Saudi Arabia 24th.

Other African, European, Asian and American countries are also featured in the ranking, which was topped by the United States of America 1st, followed by Russia 2nd, the UK 3rd, Venezuela 4th, and China 5th.

Morocco's continuing Bitcoin trading

Morocco’s Bitcoin volume trading is $6M. Meanwhile, only 0.1% of all Bitcoin trading happened in the Kingdom, according to Local Bitcoins chart, issued in August.

On a different platform called «Cash Coin Dance», which publishes up to date information and statistics on cryptocurrency in the world, Morocco is one of the countries that still uses Bitcoin.

In an updated card that measures Bitcoin volume, one can notice that Bitcoin trading started in Morocco in November 2013, with MAD 1470.

The practice grew since then, reaching the highest trading volume in June the 1st, 2017 with MAD 1,946,932. This number fell to MAD 445,503 in December 2017, a few weeks after Morocco announced that it is banning the use of the currency. On the week of September, the 1st, 2018, Bitcoin trading in Morocco amounted to MAD 666.300.

The ban

In December, 2017, Abdellatif Jouahri, the governor of Bank Al-Maghrib, commented on Bitcoin trading, during a press conference.

Referring to the risks generated by «digital currencies» including Bitcoin, Jouahri explained that theoretically speaking ; Bitcoin «is not a currency».

«A currency must meet three criteria : Being a means of payment, a store of value and a saving instrument and Bitcoin does not meet these criteria,» he said. Bank Al-Maghrib's Wali added, in this regard, that Bitcoin is more of a financial asset than a currency.

In November of the same year, Morocco’s central bank, the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Moroccan Capital Market Authority (AMMC) warned in a joint statement Moroccans against the use of virtual currencies as a means of payment.

However, a few months later Morocco opened doors for Blockchain company Soluna which is planning to build a 900-megawatt wind farm coupled with a datacenter for blockchain servers.

The project was announced in July by Brookstone Partners, a New York-headquartered firm that backs through its Morocco subsidiary, Platinum Power.

In an interview with Reuters, Soluna’s chief executive John Belizaire said that the firm will «not make cryptocurrency transactions in Morocco where financial authorities have warned against the use of cryptocurrencies».

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