• Once known for its stable and investment-friendly banking system, Lebanon has plunged into chaos as hyperinflation grips the country and banks force huge haircuts on dollar withdrawals.
  • To make ends meet in a financial system that no longer makes sense, some Lebanese are mining bitcoin or storing wealth using the cryptocurrency.
  • The dollar-pegged stablecoin tether, which users trade for cash, is also popular.

When Georgio Abou Gebrael first heard about bitcoin in 2016, it sounded like a scam.

But by 2019, as Lebanon plunged into a financial crisis following decades of expensive wars and bad spending decisions, a decentralized and borderless digital currency operating outside the reach of bankers and politicians sounded a lot like salvation.