Due to economic sanctions, citizens of Afghanistan have to transact in crypto.
Since the withdrawal of the US forces from Afghanistan last year, US authorities have cut off financial ties to disrupt the Taliban state economy.
Consequently, transfer of money became troublesome for local people.
The sanctions also meant that Afghanistan could no longer receive foreign aid.
However, cryptocurrencies offered a way out.
Last year, 22-year-old Farhan Hotak, a travel influencer from the province of Zabul in southern Afghanistan was left with no cash in hand.
His only source of money was a few hundred dollars of Bitcoin in a virtual wallet. After cashing out, Hotak managed to flee to Pakistan with his family of ten, reported BBC.
“After the Taliban takeover, crypto spread like wildfire over Afghanistan,” he said. “There is almost no other way to receive money”.
Hotak and his friends use Binance P2P which enables them to buy and sell their crypto directly with other users.
Mr. Hotak is back in Afghanistan to travel and teach people about digital assets.
Google trends data shows that web searches in Afghanistan for “bitcoin” and “crypto” increased in July just before the takeover in Kabul.
Even Chainalysis ranked Afghanistan as 20th in their Global Crypto Adoption Index. It is an impressive performance for such an economically volatile country.
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, known as the SWIFT system, which underpins international financial transactions, suspended all services in Afghanistan.
The liquidity crisis that followed meant that commercial banks couldn’t lend money, and retail customers couldn’t take their own money out of banks.
Cryptocurrencies’ decentralized infrastructure means that anyone can use them as long as they have internet access. This makes the lives of common people easy in economically or politically unstable countries.
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