The national currency of Lebanon has seen a stiff fall to deepen the monetary crisis in the country. Some unofficial reports suggest that the Lebanese pound or Lira has shredded 50% of its purchasing power in less than two weeks.
A local crypto advocate Saifedean Ammous on Thursday took to Twitter and said that after “having lost half its value in the last 10 days, the Lebanese lira is now worth one satoshi” — comprising a historic low for the currency of roughly $0.000093.”
Earlier, in the last week of June, she had pointed out that “Ten years ago, one Lebanese lira was worth 0.67 Bitcoin.”
“Imagine spending 45 minutes explaining Bitcoin to a group of Lebanese people and then having one of them ask: ‘but without a central bank regulating, what guarantees Bitcon’s value?’” Ammous posted a day earlier.
Boost for crypto in Lebanon
The exchange rate is hard to confirm as many Lebanon citizens have turned to crypto in recent times. Lira has officially been valued at US $0.00066 since 1997, however chronic economic mismanagement has led to the emergence of a parallel market for the currency. Reports indicate it has seen its value plummet 86% in roughly one year.
“We’re like prisoners who do nothing but try to plot our escape,” 32-year-old graphic designer Bernard Hage told Al Jazeera.
Meanwhile, with the downfall of the pound or lira, Lebanon’s youth with an informal Twitter survey in May indicated that 57.5% of locals would prefer to receive their salary in Bitcoin (BTC).
“Right now, Lebanese are interested in escaping tight restrictions on cash withdrawals and transfers. They basically want financial freedom,” Mahmoud Dgheim told Al Jazeera.
“If you want to go around the banking system, Bitcoin is a solution.”