Some of the tech-savvy youngsters in Lebanon have reportedly shifted their focus toward cryptocurrencies amid the current monetary crash.
Earlier this week, the government closed all local banks due to ongoing risks for employees and customers. It remains unknown when the financial institutions will re-open, which might be one reason why locals started looking for alternative financial instruments, including digital assets.
The economic situation in Lebanon worsened after the government shut all domestic banking institutions until further notice. Thus, people wanting to withdraw their funds can do so at a considerable loss or take out US dollar-denominated cheques, which are then sold for a fraction of their valuation – currently approximately 20%.
On the other hand, those willing to do something with their savings must act fast because the Lebanese pound is depreciating on a daily basis.
According to a recent Reuters report, some locals (mainly young people with enough knowledge about innovations in technology) have started dealing with cryptocurrencies because of this setback.
Mario Awad – a Lebanese HODLer – told the media that many politicians, security officers, TV personalities, and celebrities have also purchased bitcoin or altcoins lately.
Another individual, introducing himself as Ahmad, argued that cryptocurrencies are “100 times more real than the dollars” Lebanese keep in banks.
According to the coverage, the favorite digital asset of local investors is the world’s largest stablecoin – Tether (USDT). Its value is pegged to the American dollar, and, in theory, it should stay unaffected by the notorious volatility in the crypto market.
The Lebanese government has not yet put the digital asset sector under its supervision. However, the lack of regulations does not seem to be a problem for domestic investors, most of whom do not trust the actions of the ruling body.
“For many, that’s seen as good because we’re not living in a country where regulations and politicians give us hope – quite the opposite. But it does harm widespread adoption (of cryptocurrency),” one of the traders opined.
It is worth noting that crypto mining also thrives in Lebanon mainly due to the cheap electricity prices. Speaking on the matter was the local miner, who disclosed himself as Jad:
“Even if you’re making $10 a day with a normal computer, that’s now several times the minimum wage. After what we’ve been through, I’m never putting one cent back in a Lebanese bank.”