In today’s edition of Bitmama’s weekly crypto news roundup, we cover interesting developments in the cryptocurrency industry. From Morocco leading P2P crypto trading in North Africa to South Africa ranking 21st in crypto ownership, to the price of Dogecoin that surged by 11%. Let’s get started.
Morocco is leading P2P crypto trading in North Africa
In 2021, Morocco’s peer-to-peer crypto trade volume of $6 million was enough to see it ranked North Africa’s top cryptocurrency trading nation, according to the latest data from crypto payments company Triplea. The data also shows that only three African countries topped Morocco’s volumes and these include Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya.
In a breakdown of the global peer-to-peer crypto trade statistics, the Triplea research data shows that 2.4% of Morocco’s population, or 878,168 people, owned cryptocurrencies in 2021. Only four African countries — Kenya (8.52%), South Africa (7.11%), Nigeria (6.31%), and Ghana (3.01%) — have higher proportions of their respective populations that own crypto.
As noted in the research report, interest in cryptocurrency in Morocco has been rising despite the country’s standing regulations against crypto trading, which were first announced in 2017.
“Moroccans are open to cryptocurrency, with peer to peer bitcoin trading volumes increasing steadily over the years and reaching record highs of 2.18 million Moroccan Dirham in 2020,” explains the report.
Furthermore, the report notes that the increase in Morocco’s peer-to-peer traded volumes came during a year when the central bank, Bank-Al-Maghrib (BAM), said it would explore the benefits of launching a digital currency.
11% of South African adult internet users, or an estimated 4.5 million people, said they owned cryptocurrency in the December survey, up from 10% in October – an increase of one percentage point. Bitcoin is still the most popular coin to own (6.3%), followed by Ethereum (3.5%) and XRP (2.9%).
Cryptocurrency ownership in South Africa is below the global average of 15% but higher than countries like the United States (10%), Germany (8%), and the United Kingdom (6%). Out of the 27 countries surveyed in the study, South Africa ranks 21st in terms of cryptocurrency ownership. Meanwhile, Vietnam has the most cryptocurrency investors (29%), followed by India and Australia (23% each), while Japan and the UK have the fewest crypto investors (6% each).
Globally, crypto ownership is dominated by the young, with an average 56.1% of owners aged 18 to 34. And South Africa is no different. In South Africa, those aged 18-34 dominate crypto ownership at 48.7%, while at 32%, 35-54 year olds are the next most likely group to say they own crypto. Those aged 55+ come in last with 19.3%.
Dogecoin jumps after Elon Musk announces that Tesla will accept the meme coin for merch
Electric-vehicle maker Tesla began accepting Dogecoin, a dog-themed cryptocurrency, as payment for some merchandise on its website.Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted “Tesla merch buyable with Dogecoin,” on Friday.
After Dogecoin appeared as a payment option on the Tesla website, the price of Dogecoin surged by 11%. Dogecoin is currently the 11th largest cryptocurrency coin with a $25.2 billion market cap, but a downturn in the broader crypto market in recent days has pushed Dogecoin’s price to its lowest point since April 2021. It remains down 74% from it’s all-time high in May of last year.
Tesla’s website does not allow customers to purchase its electric vehicles with Dogecoin. But it does let customers buy some collectible items—a “cyber whistle,” a “Giga Texas” belt buckle, and a “cyberquad” four-wheeler for kids—with the cryptocurrency. The items retail for 300 DOGE ($57), 835 DOGE ($160), and 12,020 DOGE ($2,287), respectively, and appear to be sold out.