The Middle East is an area of particular interest to the financial world. Not just because there is a ton of oil concentrated in this part of the world, but also because these countries have a direct influence on the USD value. As a result, Bitcoin growth in the Middle East is attracting attention and there are also a few places where the virtual currency is being accepted.
Still Early Days for Bitcoin in the Middle East
Bitcoin is only just starting to make a small impact in the Middle East. Most of these countries enforce some type of capital controls and central banks are the only source of funds in circulation right now. But there is a lot of room left for investment opportunities and Bitcoin could prove to be a perfect fit.
At the end of 2014, Dubai held its very first Bitcoin conference, where quite a few people attended. Dubai is a very prominent location of wealth and finance and making a splash there could help put Bitcoin and other virtual currencies on the map. So far, there are very little efforts underway in the Middle East, but there is a noticeable trend in Bitcoin usage.
The way Bitcoin has evolved in the Middle East is visible through both offline and online retailers starting to experiment with virtual currency payments. On top of that, Bitcoin Meetups are occurring all across the Middle East; ranging from Tunisia to Dubai and Sudan to Lebanon. A trend we see all over the world as of late, but definitely great to see the same result in this part of the globe.
Jadopado.com is an e-commerce site based in the United Arab Emirates and serves as a marketplace where people can buy and sell goods in exchange for virtual currencies. JadoPado will handle and process all payments on behalf of the sellers, in exchange for a percentage fee, based on the product being sold.
One of the most famous events in the world of Bitcoin is the two pizzas bought to create the first Bitcoin transaction in history. It should come as no surprise to find out that a pizzeria in Dubai – called The Pizza Guys – is accepting Bitcoin since February of 2014. In fact, The Pizza Guys were the first merchant in Dubai to accept Bitcoin payments.
Last but not least, there is a well-known music streaming platform in the Middle East, called Anghami. Since March of 2014, Anghami has started accepting Bitcoin payments in exchange for their services, becoming the first music platform in the world to do so. Maybe Spotify will follow their example in the future?
Plenty of Room for Growth
As you can see, there is still plenty of room to grow Bitcoin adoption in the Middle East. However, there are some great services already experimenting with virtual currency payments and more businesses are being added on a regular basis. Bitcoin awareness is growing around the world and the Middle East is one of the places to give Bitcoin a try.
With an increase in Bitcoin Meetups taking place, many people are inspired by what Bitcoin and other virtual currencies have to offer. Financial freedom is a strong motivator, especially for people living in countries where freedom of speech is not properly appreciated and even discouraged at certain times.
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