Middle East Traders Dominate Crypto Market: Bitget Research

A recent report from Bitget Research highlights a significant surge in cryptocurrency trading activity across the Middle East. The study indicates a notable increase in active traders, growing from an average of 500,000 in early 2024 to an expected 700,000 by year’s end. This 166% increase from the previous year underscores a robust interest in digital currencies in the region.

Several factors are driving this uptick in cryptocurrency trading. Notably, the Middle East has seen more favorable cryptocurrency regulations emerge. Additionally, the approval of Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) and a general market rally have bolstered the attractiveness of digital assets. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is leading the way, with 72% of its cryptocurrency users investing in Bitcoin.

Impact of Global Exchanges

Despite the growth in local traders, Middle Eastern investors predominantly utilize centralized global exchanges. This preference stems from the superior variety and liquidity of assets available on these platforms compared to local exchanges. Local platforms like Rain and M2, while operational, fail to make the top ten in terms of traffic. They often offer fewer trading options and less favorable conditions for depositing and withdrawing in local currencies.

Recent geopolitical tensions in the Middle East have also left a mark on the cryptocurrency market. In mid-April, these tensions contributed to a sharp decline in cryptocurrency values. Over the course of two days, from April 13 to April 14, the market saw a significant downturn. Bitcoin’s value plummeted by 10% within just two hours, falling into the $60,000 range. This drop in Bitcoin’s price coincided with an increase in its market dominance, while most alternative coins experienced even steeper declines.

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