Middle East crypto market surges, daily traders up 166% in year

PRNewswireApril 22, 20245 min

Bitget¬†Research, the research arm of the world’s leading¬†cryptocurrency¬†exchange and Web3 company Bitget, has released an¬†in-depth report¬†on¬†cryptocurrency¬†adoption in the¬†Middle East¬†region. The document delves into key aspects influencing the rate of adoption, as well as their impact on user behavior.

Key takeaways:

  • In 2024, there was an average of¬†500,000 daily¬†crypto¬†traders¬†locally, marking a 166% increase year-over-year.
  • The UAE leads the region in¬†crypto¬†adoption, with¬†72% of local users investing in¬†Bitcoin.
  • Local countries predominantly rely on global centralized exchanges, with¬†minimal demand for local exchange platforms.
  • Crypto¬†adoption in the region is projected to reach¬†700,000 daily traders¬†by the end of 2024.
  • This growth is attributed to favorable local¬†crypto¬†regulations, the approval of¬†Bitcoin¬†ETFs, and the increasing attractiveness of digital assets amid a market upturn.

Centralized exchanges have seen the biggest inflow of users engaged in cryptocurrency trading in the six countries examined throughout the study, with over 500,000 daily active users on average in February of 2024, as compared to 300,000 in February of last year. The UAE has showcased the highest cryptocurrency adoption rate in the region. The approval of BTC Spot ETFs and the continuous rise in the total market value of cryptocurrencies is deemed to be the main contributor to such a rise in interest on the part of local users.

The leading position of the UAE as a hub of crypto activity is not surprising, considering that it has the most crypto-friendly policies in the Middle East. In the meantime, most other countries are gradually improving their cryptocurrency regulations, moving from outright bans to a more compliant approach to stream new investments, projects, and users to their jurisdictions.

The UAE has also seen the highest statistics in terms of interest towards¬†cryptocurrencies, as 29% of users surveyed during the study believe that digital assets offer a more convenient way of holding assets. Another 34% of users are¬†cryptocurrency¬†traders, and 22% use them for daily payments. Users in the UAE have also expressed the highest willingness to invest in BTC and¬†ETH, BTC being referred to as “digital gold” by UAE users, with 72% of the latter investing in the asset.

The research revealed that Middle Eastern countries are heavily reliant on global-level centralized exchanges. Local exchange platforms like Rain and M2 are not even in the Top-10 in terms of absolute traffic. The Bitget research division has attributed such lackluster values to the lower variety and liquidity of tradable assets on local exchanges compared to global exchanges, as well as the convenience of local currency deposit and withdrawal channels available on most global competing platforms.

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