Egypt's first bitcoin exchange will go live later this month, the founders of Bitcoin Egypt said (as reported by Reuters).
Bitcoin Egypt founder Rami Khalil said: "We're still waiting on the Egyptian government to set some kind of regulations...Without any laws, bitcoin is not legal money in Egypt." He added that the exchange has picked up about 300 pre-registrations from users ahead of its launch.
Khalil and co-founder Omar Abdelrasoul see their platform connecting a community of several thousand bitcoin enthusiasts who will for the first time be able to trade in Egyptian pounds, which have roughly halved in value since November after flotation under an International Monetary Fund loan programme.
"Cryptoassets are happening whether (the Egyptian government) joins in or not. And by not joining they're missing out on a very big market. Currently bitcoin is about a $70 billion market," said Khalil.
Abdelrasoul added: "We're trying to get people used to the idea of bitcoin, to ready the market so that in a couple of years we will reach a greater number of users. But for now we are trying to let people know what cryptocurrency is" .