Is MENA Region the New Hub for the Crypto Market
We can define the MENA as the Middle East and North Africa Region. In Middle East's home technology ecosystem, the fastest growing four areas are: e-commerce, digital media, applications and games, and startups.In MENA, 27% of investors are in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), followed by Saudi Arabia. On the other hand, MENA is continuing to advance its attention with increasing government support. When it comes to blockchain, it is changing the MENA region just like in the rest of the world.
Technological innovation is changing the financial services industry. Continuous technical advances have provided new opportunities and the virtual coins, crypto assets/currencies for capital raising and economic transactions have become the new digital assets. When we look at some numbers, we can say that MENA population is growing by 2% per year, which is almost 10 times more than most developed countries. The young people are dominating the demographic with a 60% of under 25 years old counting. What’s critical about these numbers is that the region contains a commonly well-educated populace. Thus, the expeditious population growth and high education reflects a positive picture especially in the financial and innovative sector. Furthermore, the MENA region has one of the highest mobile penetration rates in the world with UAE and Saudi Arabia being in the top 3 countries with the highest smartphone penetration rate in the world.
As a matter of fact, the mobile money is attaining popularity quite fast. For instance, Lebanon has already 5 different companies operating to provide mobile wallets and mobile money (HeyPay, PinPay, ViaMobile, CSC group, Tap2Pay). The central bank of Jordan has also released a mobile ‘’cash’’ framework called JoMoPay. Egypt has Fawry which is one of the most popular payment services in the country with $500bn in volume per year and Fawry has introduced the ‘’phone cash’’ mobile payment wallet to banked and unbanked users to send money, pay bills, make donations and reserve airline tickets across the country. In MENA region, the inflows and outflows for remittances are around $150bn per year. Since 2014, the crypto startups, events, investments have peaked and several local companies have emerged and expanded globally such as BitOasis, Yellow, BitFils, Nouqood.
Yet again, there is a long and tough process for the crypto market in MENA region. The fintech companies should be adopting the three most important tools which are; awareness, dealer/business adoption and customer tools.
As a result, the fast growing eCommerce market, high phone penetration and meagre financial and payment infrastructure, the young population, the advancement in information and communication technologies, intelligence systems and computing in the region is actually a great opportunity for the future of the cryptocurrency world.