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Key facts:
  • Lebanese prefer bitcoin salaries to cope with their country’s financial chaos.

  • People in India, Nigeria, and other countries in financial crisis are also turning to bitcoin.

The claim that the adoption of bitcoin (BTC) is increasing in countries whose economies are suffering from hyperinflation and excessive banking control is no longer a hypothesis, but a theory that is being enriched with evidence.

Venezuela and Argentina are already well-known examples, but now, the population of the Lebanese Republic, in the Middle East, are increasingly using bitcoin to save moneyto shop and to look for alternative salaries that pay in cryptocurrency.

Following the financial crisis that erupted in the country almost 3 years ago, Georgio Abou Gebrael discovered that bitcoin was a good alternative. He not only uses it to escape hyperinflation, but also to receive payments from abroad without having to go to banking agencies.

In 2020, banks closed and users were prohibited from withdrawing money from their accounts.. As time went on, the situation became so complicated that some armed people broke into bank branches to withdraw their savings, as in the case of the reports CryptoNews last September.

Bitcoin is a solution for many Lebanese

However, other people like Gebrael have taken refuge in bitcoin to escape the control of banks.as told it Lebanese architect to the U.S. media outlet CNBC.

“Bitcoin is a good way to receive money from abroad,” said Gebrael, who was able to receive payments in BTC without using remittance services. Remittance services take U.S. dollars sent by senders and deliver them to the recipient in Lebanese pounds at a much lower rate than the market value.

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Through remittance services, “I would lose about half of the value sent,” the 27-year-old added.

Gebrael says they support themselves through freelance work and 90% of them are paid in bitcoin. The part of their salary they receive in US dollars they use to buy small amounts of BTC every Saturday. The rest they save to meet some daily needs and to renovate their house.

He says this is how he has survived in a country where the local currency has lost more than 95 percent of its value. as of August 2019. As a result, the minimum wage has dropped from $450 to $17 per month.

Other residents, such as Gebrael, consider that. Cryptocurrencies are a lifeline to survival. This is why some people just want to receive a paycheck in bitcoin while looking for a job, while others mine cryptocurrencies for a living.

Bitcoin is being adopted in poorer countries

Chainalysis analysts pointed out in a recent report that emerging markets, or developing countries, are at the forefront of bitcoin adoption.

In this regard, 10 countries ranked by the World Bank as “low-income” are now among the top 20 in the global cryptocurrency adoption index. These are Vietnam (1), Philippines (2), Ukraine (3), India (4), Pakistan (6), Nigeria (11), Morocco (14), Nepal (16), Kenya (19), and Indonesia (16).

In fact, Latin America ranks as a the second largest region on the planet with the largest volume of transactions conducted with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.. This region experienced a 40 percent growth in cryptocurrency transaction volume in one year.

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Meanwhile, the Middle East and North Africa, while representing a small ecosystem with still low adoption levels, “is the fastest growing market,” according to Chainalysis.

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