Morocco’s Cryptocurrency Renaissance

HM King Mohammed VI of Morocco.

Despite Morocco’s ban of cryptocurrency trading in 2017, the country is one of Africa’s top four Bitcoin traders, reported Ya Bilady. As more and more African and developing countries institutionalise and adopt cryptocurrency features into their financial systems, will Morocco follow suit?

Morocco’s cryptocurrency ban

In 2017, Morocco’s Ministry of Economy and Finance, along with its central bank, announced the state’s aversion to the implementation and trading of digital currencies in the Kingdom.

The state argued that cryptocurrency did not conform to the Kingdom’s requirements for a definition of currency. A currency must fulfil three criteria: being a means of payment, a store of value, and a saving instrument. Cryptocurrency failed to pass this test, viewed as being more of an asset than a currency, reported Ya Bilady.

Progression in the Kingdom’s cryptocurrency sphere

In spite of the ban, trading in cryptocurrency has flourished in the country. In 2018, a US firm announced its plan to open a huge crypto mining facility in Morocco. The company Soluna intended to weigh up against the country’s anti-crypto laws by donating 20% of their electricity output to the Moroccan state, reported Cointelegraph.

In May 2020, almost three years after the crypt ban, Cointelegraph reported that the Kingdom has reached level trading activity. This of course indicates that the interest and use of cryptocurrency are alive and well in this North African country. This sees Morocco join fellow African countries such as South Africa and Nigeria as they increase their digital currency infrastructures.

It is yet to be seen how the cryptocurrency situation will unravel in Morocco. The year 2020 has excited crypto enthusiasts and economists and financiers interested in cryptocurrency as a global financial tool. Morocco might, like Russia, decide to legitimise crypto, judging from the rapid global developments in the legitimisation of digital currency.

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Raïs Tarek 87 Articles
Journalist and lawyer, with a passion for global politics, economics and current affairs.