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Bitcoin in Egypt: Live EGP Price, Best Exchanges, Taxes, and History
Cryptocurrencies have a complicated history in Egypt. It is officially banned by religious decree in the country, however, options still exist where one can purchase BTC.
Yet, it seems that the government may be changing its position as of late although no concrete policy proposals have come forward yet. There has also been speculation that Egypt may be releasing its own stablecoin, backed by its central bank. In short, the future of the cryptocurrency industry in Egypt is still unclear.
Is Bitcoin legal in Egypt
Bitcoin is illegal in Egypt as per Islamic law. The primary legislator in the country, Dar al-lfta, issued a religious decree which classifies all commercial transactions with Bitcoin as prohibited under Islamic law.
It recently lifted this ban for cryptocurrency companies in May 2019, however, the industry still remains incredibly small in the country with virtually no exchanges. Cryptocurrency-related companies can now operate in Egypt if they get the proper papers and do not engage in speculative behavior. However, no cryptocurrency exchange in Egypt has been able to successfully receive a license to operate and it is currently unclear how many of these licenses for ‘crypto-currency relate companies’ were given out.
How to Buy and Sell Bitcoin in Egypt
Buying Bitcoin in Egypt is near impossible. However, there exist a few ways if you really look. However, do this at your own risk.
For example, Middle East payment processing company YellowPay, launched a Bitcoin voucher service in Egypt last year which allows one to buy Bitcoin voucher ‘tickets’ using credit cards, PayFort, or Vodafone point-of-sale machines. These vouchers are redeemable in actual BTC which allows Egyptians the rare opportunity to purchase some. Best of all, this can be done in local Egyptian fiat currency with no need to exchange to dollars or euros.
There are other ways to purchase Bitcoin as well but it requires you to not only go through the international exchange but also potentially convert Egyptian currency to dollars or euros.
CEX.io is an English-based exchange that has been around for some time. They currently boast multiple cryptocurrencies available for trading against fiat and the platform is open to Egyptians.
Although open to Egyptians, you will need to convert to British pounds or euros to be able to trade on CEX.io. Therefore, although you can get confirmed, there is no place to currently trade BTC against the Egyptian pound.
eToro is yet another option but is also a stock-trading platform. However, bear in mind that you cannot withdraw the Bitcoin you purchase on eToro. You can only buy and sell, but the BTC can’t be moved off of the exchange. This means that you are effectively not holding the BTC which some would view as a liability.
There are no other ways to purchase BTC in Egypt. LocalBitcoins, a peer-to-peer, marketplace does not operate in the country however some digging around might lead one to discover decentralized markets where one can purchase BTC as well. However, do this at your own risk. As of now, the best option remains either CEX.io or using YellowPay to purchase BTC in an over-the-counter like process.
Egypt’s Tax Rules on Bitcoin Profits
Because Bitcoin is illegal in the country, there are no tax rules for Bitcoin in Egypt. You hold Bitcoin at your own risk and, if discovered by authorities, there may or may not be consequences. So, assess these risks if you still feel like owning Bitcoin is a good idea.
Where to Spend Bitcoin in Egypt
Because Bitcoin is illegal in Egypt, there are no places to spend Bitcoin at any brick-and-mortar shops. Your only option is to go through international vendors. Overstock.com, NewEgg, and other vendors accept Bitcoin and have been for some time. Keep in mind, however, that there is no guarantee these vendors ship specifically to Egypt so be sure to look that up before making your purchase.