Lebanon Locals Are Mining Bitcoin and Buying Groceries With Tether

November 6, 2022 3:57 pm Comments

In 2019, the country of Lebanon went into a financial crisis and the country has been bankrupt as a result of bad spending decisions and wars.

When this happened, the prospect of using digital assets like Bitcoin became much more attractive as it was digital currency that was unaffected by banks and politicians.

In fact, locals were prevented from being able to withdraw money from their bank accounts as the banks closed.

Today, locals within the country are mining Bitcoin and are buying groceries using Tether which is the most popular stable coin.

If anything, it seems that countries that are plunged into financial instability very often find themselves using crypto as a way to survive.

CNBC reports:

Gebrael was an architect living in his hometown of Beit Mery, a village eleven miles due east of Beirut. He had lost his job and needed to figure out another way to quickly get ahold of cash. In the spring of 2020, Gebrael says, the banks were closed and locals were barred from withdrawing money from their accounts.

Receiving cash via international wire transfer wasn’t a great option either, since these services would take U.S. dollars from the sender and give Lebanese pounds to the recipient at a much lower rate than market value, according to the 27-year-old.

“I would lose around half of the value,” explained Gebrael of the experience. “That’s why I was looking at bitcoin – it was a good way to get money from abroad.”

Gebrael discovered a subreddit dedicated to connecting freelancers with employers willing to pay in bitcoin. The architect’s first job was to film a short commercial for a company that sold tires. Gebrael was paid $5 in bitcoin. Despite the tiny amount, he was hooked.

So far, it has happened to the country of Lebanon but it may not be a far stretch to say that such an occurrence may likely happen for other countries in the future too.

After all, global inflation is a fear that many have right now and many are looking for alternative ways to save and spend capital.

In Lebanon, the country’s currency had lost more than 95% of its total value since August 2019 which makes it almost worthless.

Yet, people are still believing that the country’s financial system will correct itself at some point while others have decided to make the switch to crypto as an alternative.

CNBC concludes:

Others have lost faith in the monetary system altogether. Enter cryptocurrency.

CNBC spoke with multiple locals, many of whom consider cryptocurrencies a lifeline for survival. Some are mining for digital tokens as their sole source of income while they hunt for a job.

Others arrange clandestine meetings via Telegram to swap the stablecoin tether for U.S. dollars in order to buy groceries.

Although the form that crypto adoption takes varies depending upon the person and the circumstances, nearly all of these locals craved a connection to money that actually makes sense.

“Bitcoin has really given us hope,” Gebrael said. “I was born in my village, I’ve lived here my whole life, and bitcoin has helped me to stay here.”

Join the conversation!

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.