Crypto-currencies: More than 8,000 dollars of GDP per capita in Morocco

Although the use of crypto-currencies was officially banned in 2017, the trend of “digital currencies” continues to progress in Morocco. Thus, the Kingdom is in the top 10 of African countries that have experienced strong growth in the number of virtual currency holders with 1.15 million users in 2022, according to the Policy Center for the New South.

According to the study published by the Policy Center for the New South, called “The emergence of crypto-currencies in Africa: reality or overvaluation?” and led by Henri-Louis Verdie with 33 countries on the African continent, the number of Moroccans holding crypto-currencies in 2022 reached 1.15 million with 8,612 dollars of GDP per capita, or more than 3% of the population. And besides Ghana, Kenya, and Tanzania, the dominant cryptocurrency in Morocco is, by far, bitcoin.

The analysis revealed in particular the various factors which explain this rise in power, in this case the demographic, urban and economic factors. Demographically, the study recalled that cryptocurrency users are mostly young people between the ages of 20 and 30 and affirmed that this is the case in Morocco. She mentions, in this sense, the recent survey of Synergia which shows that young people under the age of 30 account for more than 50% of bitcoin users in particular while other surveys estimate that this percentage is around 70% in sub-Saharan Africa.

However, according to the United Nations, Africais the youngest continent on the planet, with an average age of 19, twice as young as the United States (38). And in sub-Saharan countries, some now have between 45% and 50% of their population under the age of 15. Finally, in 2050, 50% of the African population will then be under 25 years old..

As for urban factors, the study specifies that all surveys show that cryptocurrency users are concentrated in large urban metropolises, the example of Casablanca in Morocco.

On the economic plan, “we note here the low bankarization of the continent, particularly in its sub-Saharan part and the very high inflation of certain countries, such as Nigeria, Sudan or Zimbabwe“, indicates the Policy Center and underlines that the banking rate strict/TBS, which measures the proportion of the adult population holding a bank account, does not exceed 20% on the continent, the average of which has large differences between countries, namely 6% in Mali and 53% in Morocco, as example.

“And in all African countries we see that: if a low banking rate is a factor in the development of crypto-currencies, conversely a high rate, more than 50%, for example, as in Morocco, does not seem penalize their development”explains the author of the analysis.

He did not forget to recall the obstacle of the ban encountered by certain African countries, vsThis should concern us all the more as among the countries where it is prohibited we find Nigeria or Morocco. Two countries that have seen the number of their cryptocurrency holders increase in recent months». This shows the total ineffectiveness of this official prohibition. However, cryptocurrencies are, more than ever, high-risk investments, reveals Verdie.

Regarding the regulations of crypto-currencies in Morocco, Abdellatif Jouahri, the governor of Bank Al Maghrib (BAM), the central bank of the Kingdom, announced a draft regulation of virtual currencies. An important first step on the road which could lead the country to officially authorize them, under certain conditions. This announcement is a break from the united front formed by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Moroccan Financial Markets Regulatory Authority and, of course, the BAM. All three so far on the same line, that of opposing headwind to unregulated cryptocurrencies.

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