Egyptian Bitcoin enthusiast Ahmed Elmogy believes Bitcoin is doing well in his country and would do even better if not for the military regime’s subjugation of Bitcoin users and traders.
Elmogy explains what difficulties the digital currency community in the land of the pharaohs is going through:
"Bitcoin in Egypt is like dealing in narcotic drugs. Honestly, you could be arrested if the government finds out what you are doing. One of my friends has been thrown in jail without trial for selling on the site localbitcoins.com. We are now working in silence and secrecy."
Many Egyptians, according to Elmogy, find Bitcoin remittances convenient and cost effective. It is also a source of income for those who are doing mining. Sadly, the Egyptian government does not recognize Bitcoin and arrests whoever is mining, selling and buying Bitcoin.
Though the Bitcoin trader is now out after some months of incarceration, Elmogy believes it was a strong message from the government.
From all indications, the Egyptian government’s approach to Bitcoin is very cold. Elmogy thinks the people are denied their rights to economic and financial freedom. Even though there is an encouraging demand for the first ever cryptocurrency in the Northern African country, current conditions make it very difficult for people to conduct transactions with it.
Elmogy sums it up:
"Online workers, Forex Traders and all those involved in the cross-border exchange of goods and services need Bitcoin badly for their activities. With electronic banking banned over here, many people look to Bitcoin to do economic activities but the pathetic reality is that our government is denying us this unprecedented opportunity. I think Bitcoin demand in Egypt would have grown at a faster rate than the rest of the world if it weren't for the needless impediments."
Who runs Bitcoin Egypt? Is there a local social and educational organization for Bitcoin? Are there merchants in Egypt accepting Satoshis?
Elmogy laughs almost hysterically: "Don't even think of it, man! You'll end up at an unpleasant place laughing at the wrong side of your mouth."
But in regard to whether Bitcoin can thrive in Egypt, the Egyptian Satoshi lover responds in the affirmative.
He cites how inflation eats away at people's wealth in his country, and that’s the incentive to turn to Bitcoin:
"Due to the lack of stability of the local currency, I think that Bitcoin adoption will continue to grow through the black market as we trust Bitcoin more than government money that falls down at a greater rate every year."
Governments around the world have been harboring fear about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies creating circumstances like what is pertaining at the banks of the mighty River Nile.
This brings to mind countries like Russia, Vietnam, Kenya, Colombia and recently India and Africa's most populous nation of Nigeria. In most scenarios, the people are not deterred until their sleepy governments realize they cannot resist the pioneer crypto and the unconquerable spirit of the human race, and then give in, for Bitcoin to prevail.
It will be recollected that countries like Vietnam and Russia conceded and legalized Bitcoin late last year. So for our Egyptian friends, the hope remains.