Report says devices implemented by government are blocking political, human rights websites

There are many risks of currency encryption and the inability to track digital currency ownership, even through brokerage offices — and so, some may exploit this secrecy in financing terrorism or illegal trade. Mohamed Mohsen, an Egyptian lawyer specialized in financial lawsuits and a Bitcoin miner, told Al-Monitor that the Egyptian laws of the Central Bank or public funds are not criminalizing the dealing in cryptocurrencies, and that arresting or legally trying any Egyptian for dealing in cryptocurrencies was due to the use of cryptocurrencies in a crime such as financing terrorism or fraud.

In June , the authorities arrested a dentist for scamming groups of citizens by taking their money under the claim that they will invest for them in the mining of bitcoins and Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency platform. A programmer was arrested on similar charges in June Shuair said that the main danger of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies business in Egypt is the absence of a clear law that states the cases of considering mining and trading of them as a legal act and the cases of considering them fraud.

Inside the Secretive World of Egypt's Bitcoin Miners

On the future of Bitcoin in Egypt, he pointed out that the Central Bank of Egypt is expected to legalize cryptocurrencies soon. According to him, the Central Bank was preparing to issue a law for it in January, but the coronavirus outbreak may have changed the priorities of the bank. But Shuair noted that many Egyptians will withdraw from this business once they feel the decline of profits when cryptocurrencies markets reach customer saturation.

Egyptians turn to Bitcoin amid coronavirus crisis. Soaring prices of cryptocurrencies, most notably Bitcoin, are tempting many unemployed Egyptians seeking to achieve quick gains, amid fears of Bitcoin being exploited to finance terrorism or illegal trade. The photo shows a physical imitation of a bitcoin in Dortmund, Germany, Jan.

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Hussein points out,. For Mohammed, a Cairo-based Ethereum miner, the mining craze is fueled by more than just cheap electricity. He believes how you pay for the energy plays a significant role in making the endeavour more lucrative. He explains that bitcoin, which acts as a digital asset, has retained value more reliably than the inflation-prone Egyptian pound. That combined with the cheap energy has led to some expats to consider moving back to Egypt.

Bassem is an Egyptian who presently resides in Qatar and runs a bitcoin mining farm. He owns a fleet of ASIC machines that are optimised to mine non-stop and churn out bitcoins. He started mining in Doha on account of the free electricity being provided but has now set his sights on returning to Egypt this year. He is not that worried about leaving behind the free energy as he calculates his farm will still make a good profit once he deducts electricity costs.

For Egyptians, cryptocurrency mining has changed their financial fortunes. A case in point would be Hussein who developed an interest in digital currencies due to his economics background. He learnt about bitcoin through YouTube videos and started mining in He then quit his job and moved back to Egypt, something that would not have been possible without the income he receives from mining digital currencies.

Especially in Egypt, by mining, you can make enough money to just live. Hussein who is also a cryptocurrency trader insists he has made more money on cryptocurrency than investing in real estate. The new coins he earns are converted to fiat currencies by trading them at the exchanges for a profit.

But not only are individuals making money out of crypto mining, local hardware dealers are cashing in on the demand for mining hardware.

Blockchain & Cryptocurrency Regulation 2021 | Egypt

According to Mohammed, hardware importers are not only making good money but a number of them have joined the bandwagon and taken up mining themselves. Hussein had this to add,. And you can actually see a lot of religious people mining bitcoin. While bitcoin mining may be unappealing for most due to the high energy requirements and the technological complexity, for Egyptian cryptocurrency miners the process is quite very rewarding. I hope that Egypt uses it eventually.

They have to know that people here are using it now, that people believe in it and put their trust in it.

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Source: CairoScene. October 1, , was a turbulent day for San Francisco Public Library. A dozen FBI agents pretending to be usual visitors surrounded a man sitting at one of the tables, took his laptop and put a pair of handcuffs on his hands. That man was Ross Ulbricht, founder of Silk Road — the largest darknet marketplace for drug dealers, killers, and other criminals. The reputation of cryptocurrency also suffers from associations with terrorists, who sometimes use it for their needs.

How big is the real scale of the problem? And how many legal ways to use crypto exist? ChangeNOW has dived into the topic — and suggests you an overview of the current state of the problem. It is located in the darknet, which provides an attractive, profitable, and mostly secure environment for drug dealers. Cryptocurrency, in turn, allows making payments that are hard to be tracked by authorities. This is how blockchain technology has helped to bring a big part of drug sales online from the streets.

However, cryptocurrency is not always as secure and anonymous as it is thought to be. The information about any transaction ever made stays forever in the blockchain, which makes the system way more transparent than cash payments. This is a significant limitation for using crypto in illegal purposes.

As for the drug sale itself, trade volumes in crypto keep rising, but the percent of Bitcoin drug transactions out of all transactions goes down. This means Bitcoin is more frequently used for legitimate purposes. What cryptocurrency is used for drug sales most often? The main problem for drug dealers using crypto is to turn their income into cash. This move remains complicated and insecure. Most cryptocurrency exchanges have instruments to define whether a transaction is coming from a suspicious source like the darknet. The rise of Monero use in the online drug market will hinder such tracking.

However, for the reasons listed above, crypto is unlikely to completely replace regular cash in drug sales in the foreseeable future. The views on how much cryptocurrency is used and will be used by terrorists vary widely. While some claim that terrorists have no infrastructure to use it and the methods are not secure enough, others argue that they are learning fast and adjust to crypto rapidly. Lack of appropriate infrastructure, inability to use crypto.

Most terrorist groups settle in the Middle East region, especially on its remote and war-torn territories.

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The vast majority of roads and technological infrastructure have been destroyed. In such circumstances, cash remains the most common and convenient way to pay and fundraise.

Imagine a gun seller in a Syrian village — does it look like he has a tool to accept Monero? Anonymity threats. Given the relative transparency of blockchain mentioned above, crypto might remain too unsafe for terrorists. It can change with the rising use rate of privacy coins, but the ability to spend such money remains questionable. Increased attention to crypto by the authorities. Problems of specific currencies. While top cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin receive much regulatory attention, others remain marginal and unreliable because of a lack of support.

Terrorists seem to be rapidly learning to escape from tracking in blockchain. Today they use well organized and finely designed websites, where detailed video tutorials show how to donate money anonymously.