The TRIPLE A January 2023 crypto ownership country report noted that the number of cryptocurrency users has increased since January 2022. In January 2023 there were 420 million crypto owners globally; this is up from their previous report in January 2022 where they had stated there were 300 million crypto owners globally. In the Arab world biggest growth was seen in Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, and even Iraq. 

More interesting is that if we compare the percentage of crypto owners in the Arab world between January 2022 and January 2023 in some countries the increase is exponential.

For example in Jan 2022 2.38% of Moroccan population owned crypto, by January 2023 this number had increased to 4.9% an increase of more than 2% in one year. The same goes for Egypt, Tunisia, and Lebanon were the increase was also significant.

CountryJan 2022 Crypto Ownership %Jan 2023 crypto ownership %Crypto Ownership Population 2023
Saudi Arabia1.31.6592,351

In another recent CoinGecko report, Lebanon placed first in the rankings as the country most interested in AI crypto, scoring the highest of 100 for almost all the search terms, resulting in a total score of 1,200. The 21.6% share in AI crypto search interest suggests that the Lebanese crypto community is keen to trade on trends like the pumping prices of AI tokens. Other Arab countries curious about crypto AI included UAE, followed by Kuwait and Qatar.

One can also go back to Chainalysis report in October 2022, where Middle East & North Africa (MENA) was the fastest growing region. MENA-based users received $566 billion in cryptocurrency from July 2021 to June 2022, 48% more than they received the year prior. The top three countries at that time were Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon and Turkey. This is once again mirrored in the stats showcased in this article. 

Recently Recap, a crypto tracking and capital gains solution provider, published its report under the title ‘Which Cities are leading the way in cryptocurrency’.  50 cities were put in the report.

As per the report Recap scored these cities based on the following criteria. The first was quality of life score; personally I don’t see how crypto is related to quality of life. For me the most popular crypto enthusiasts and users are usually from cities and countries which have the most unbanked population or live in countries where the financial and economic situation is not that impressive. Examples include Morocco, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt and others, all by the way not even mentioned in the report.

Their second criterion was crypto specific events! Wow this was a first for me, so if a city carries out a lot of crypto events then automatically it becomes a city leading the way in cryptocurrency. This was actually one of the biggest reasons Kuwait was put on the list, coming in at 16th place, because it had 64 crypto related events!! The funniest thing is that UAE was mentioned as only having 20 crypto events! I mean who are we kidding, even CZ from Binance tweeted the other day that UAE has a crypto event every day! This means that there are 365 crypto events in UAE not 20. Both stretch the truth a bit, but all can agree that the number of blockchain and crypto events in UAE definitely surpass that of Kuwait.

But please let’s not stop there, the third criteria was people working in crypto related jobs! I really don’t know how they even reached that number, but let’s dig into their numbers, so first they mention that London in the UK has the most crypto related job over 2000, while Dubai in UAE has 869 to be exact! But Japan top three crypto cities only have a total of 14 people working in crypto jobs! I mean seriously! While Jeddah in Saudi Arabia has 24 people working in crypto related jobs and believe it or not Kuwait city has 7!

Can someone tell me where is Bahrain in all of this? Bahrain which has Binance, CoinMENA, Rain, crypto payments and an ATM or two? Bahrain were crypto growth has skyrocketed.

Even If were naïve enough to believe this, given that both Kuwait and KSA have not even started to regulate crypto how is that possible, and how can Japan which was considered one of the most advanced countries in crypto and blockchain only 14 people working in crypto in its top three cities?!

But Alas comes the number of crypto companies. So please bear with me. In Dubai UAE, there are 867 people working in crypto related jobs and there are 772 crypto companies in Dubai UAE. Amazingly that would mean that there is almost 1.2 employees working across these 772 crypto companies. Even UAE Based crypto Oasis has calculated that there are 1,600 blockchain and crypto related entities in the UAE.

Skipping down to the most interesting part, the ownership of crypto in each country,. According to Recap 34 percent of the population living in UAE own crypto, how is that possible when UAE was the number third country in MENA in terms of crypto movement into the country as per Chainalysis. What’s even funnier is Kuwait which took 16th position beating KSA, Recap has 0 percent of people owning crypto in Kuwait! You read it right zero percent of people in Kuwait own crypto but they all go to the 65 crypto events happening in the Kuwait city! Surprisingly Saudi Arabia has 20 percent ownership of crypto among its population but comes in at number 22!

Anyhow I will stop here. To go any further with analyzing their data would be a waste of time! I am not contending that Dubai is not the number two city in the world leading crypto, but I would not use Recap report to make that point! The whole report is nonsensical. 

But what really bothers me, is that a lot of media actually published and picked up this report and used their data. Where is the world coming to?!

In January 2023 Binance celebrated its official entrance into Bahrain. Bahrain’s crypto ecosystem has flourished with the entrance of Binance. Bahrain has witnessed a growth on all fronts, crypto exchange users, crypto payments, crypto jobs and competitive crypto offerings. Binance received its official license in October 2022.

Growth of crypto exchange users

The official license and launch of Binance in Bahrain has added to Binance’s crypto exchange users.

Binance announced that it witnessed a 34% growth in institutional business clients in MENA in Q4 2022, the highest growth for a region where Binance operates, Nadeem Ladki, Executive Director Head of BD & Partnerships, Europe & MENA at Binance told LaraontheBlock, “While I cannot go into the specific growth in Bahrain, I can confirm that we have seen a growth in users since we officially launched in October 2022.”

Even Bahrain based CoinMENA; crypto broker also saw an increase in its user base in 2022 including the period since Binance made its foray into the country. Talal Tabaa CEO and Founder of CoinMENA explained to LaraontheBlock, “Year on Year from December 2021 until December 2022, the verified users of CoinMENA from Bahrain grew by 143 percent. In specific since the entrance of Binance in October 2022, CoinMENA witnessed 5.6 percent growth up until January 2023.”

Growth Crypto vis vie Banking services

In addition to the increase in the number of newly on boarded crypto exchange clients, the country has seen more robust competitive marketing campaigns, with lower fees aimed at attracting a bigger user base as well as enhanced banking crypto relationships.

Binance holds a Category 4 license as a crypto asset service provider (CASP) and was the first exchange in the country to be granted a category four license.  This meant that users could access Binance’s full range of crypto asset exchange services, including direct deposits and withdrawals in local currencies.

Yet this did not faze CoinMENA which despite being a crypto broker still espouses good relationships with liquidity partners and banks. Talal Tabbaa, CEO of CoinMENA told LaraontheBlock, “Compared to other regions, the MENA market is one of the smallest. CoinMENA, Rain & BitOasis are technically all brokerage firms. We all have to work with global liquidity partners to place trades on behalf of our users. CoinMENA can list tokens at its own discretion following the Board of Directors’ approval, but they must comply with CBB guidelines.”

After Binance entered Bahrain and in early 2023, CoinMENA announced that users could now easily deposit and withdraw crypto through bank transfers or cards in just 24 hours. CoinMENA CEO explains, “We maintain good banking relationships which is crucial to ensure the on-ramp and off-ramp services are as frictionless as possible for our users.”

RAIN crypto broker which similar to CoinMENA has a category three license in Bahrain has on some occasions compared its offering with Binance. In a tweet by one of its founders AJ Nelson in late October in reply to a comment from a client stated, “Yes we are well aware of the problems with bank transfers. We are working directly with regulators to solve. In good time we will have a solution regarding fees, have you used Rain Pro? It has 0 maker fees and tight spreads. Lower fees and pricing than Binance.”

More Competitive Marketing Campaigns lower fees

In terms of marketing campaigns to introduce better services at lower cost, Binance for its launch campaign offered 25% discount on all trading fees for Bahrain users through a link ‘ BHLive’. 

In addition Binance offered the Binance Bahrain Card allowing Bahrain clients to spend cryptocurrencies in over 60 million online and physical stores. 

Furthermore in December as part of its Christmas offering, Binance offered its Arabic speaking clients’ rewards reaching $1.5 million in addition to promotions. As it noted on its twitter page Binance offers 350+ crypto assets with fees of less than 0.10 percent per transaction. 

CoinMENA quickly countered these marketing campaigns with those of its own. For example in January 2023, CoinMENA offered discounted card deposit fees for 48 hours again after doing so in late 2022.

 As per the advert, users would pay only 2% fee on card deposits instead of 3.5%. For Bahrain’s National Day celebrations, CoinMENA offered zero trading fees for a limited time of 48 hours. The crypto exchange had also promoted prior to that a 23% off on trading fees for a specified time period.

 CoinMENA offers around 30 crypto assets for trading with fees of 0.75%.

 Tabaa confirms that the entrance of Binance helped to grow the crypto ecosystem in Bahrain. He stated, “Binance spends a lot on crypto marketing and this actually benefits the entire ecosystem of players.”

 Growth of Crypto Payments

Crypto as a method of payment has also seen significant growth since the entrance of Binance in Bahrain. Binance partnered with EazyPay, a financial payment service provider which has a network of thousands of merchants and over 6000 terminals, to offer crypto as a method of payment while settling transactions with merchants in fiat currency.

According to Nayef Tawfiq Al Alawi, Managing Director and CEO of EazyPay, “As a regulated entity we can only work with regulated entities such as Binance. Since our partnership merchants have been more confident to get into the crypto payment scene and in terms of transactions, while people are still testing the service on average we transact $5000 worth of crypto transaction per day over 6000 terminals in Bahrain. This is really good.”

It hasn’t stopped there, In November 2022 just after Binance entered Bahrain, CoinMENA partnered with Carlton Real Estate, a Bahrain-based real estate agency that allows investors in the Kingdom to purchase real estate property using crypto assets. Under the partnership, the real estate broker would accept stablecoins like USDT and USDC.

 This only exemplifies the increase in crypto as a method of payment in the country.

Growth in crypto Job market

Binance has viewed Bahrain as a key business hub which will provide areas for growth and employment within the wider industry. Currently Binance has employed 200 people in Bahrain and is continuing to hire. It has job posts for Customer Support Specialist, Senior Treasury Manager and others in Bahrain.

Even RAIN which decreased its employee base by 50% still has around 200 employees while CoinMENA has around16 employees and is also currently hiring with job openings for software engineer in January 2023 as well others.


Changpeng Zhao CZ in a recent tweet  stated, “Bahrain is a hidden gem, super safe, very clean, well developed, good food, superb service, nice people and crypto friendly!”

While CoinMENA affirms that it has known that international players would be entering the region given the poor financial services, high fees and large unbanked population coupled with young demographic population and high smartphone penetration. To him this only shows the market is maturing and accelerating growth.

Binance in 2022, processed a whopping $65 billion in trading volume on average every day, at a speed of approximately 0.7 million transactions per second. The entrance of Binance into markets such as Bahrain has for sure added to the growth of the crypto market and ecosystem.