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The services of Dubai-based BitOasis became available in Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait. The company, claiming to have 20,000 customers, plans to expand to Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

People in four Persian Gulf countries are now able to buy bitcoin with the help of BitOasis, as announced via the company blog. Ola Doudin, co-founder of BitOasis, told Coindesk that the reason for the expansion was the increasing demand for bitcoin in those countries.

As CoinFox previously wroteBitOasis is a multi-signature wallet provider and bitcoin buying platform launched by Czech-born Tom James Holub and Jordan-born Ola Doudin in January 2015. It is aimed at people living in the Middle East and North Africa who regularly need to pay or receive payments online, or to move money across the borders.

To be able to buy bitcoins, customers need to create a BitOasis online wallet providing their email address and mobile phone number. Next thing they buy a voucher with a bank transfer and exchange it into bitcoins. However, to purchase vouchers, customers need to use US Dollars or UAE Dirhams – they cannot buy them with Bahraini dinars, Kuwaiti dinars or Qatari riyals.  

The option of buying vouchers for cash or with credit cards is currently unavailable, but BitOasis promises to add it in the near future. The company also plans to introduce a 1% fee for voucher to bitcoin exchange, but currently the service is completely free.

According to Ola Doudin’s estimate, the company has around 20,000 customers. In the future BitOasis plans to expand into Saudi Arabia and Egypt and add more payment options, creating partnerships with established payment processors in the region. In particular, the company targets migrant workers and freelancers living in the oil-rich countries of the Persian Gulf region.  

Qatar is the richest country by GDP (PPP) in the world, according to the IMF data. Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain occupy respectively 5th, 7th and 13th places in the list, largely outpacing almost all countries of the European Union.

 

Alexey Tereshchenko