Trade volume on Turkish cryptocurrency trade rose on Friday while the country's legal tender currency lowered to historic lows.
According to CoinMarketCap, the volume in the Turkish exchanges Paribu, Btcturk and Koinim has risen by over 100 percent each in the last 24 hours. Absolute volumes are still relatively small in these exchanges, with Btcturk, the largest in the country, which handles $ 11.6 million in transactions.
The Turkish lira has hit an all-time low against the dollar, reflecting global market concerns about President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's economic policies, his sour relationship with US President Donald Trump and the ability of his government to repay its debts.
Doing little to calm these fears, Erdogan spoke in the public appearances on Friday of "economic war" with the United States and called on the Turkish citizens to exchange any dollar, euro or gold they hold for the lira to support it, according to the media
The turbulence in progress has increased the attractiveness of bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies for some local investors, even if the sector has been in a bear market this year
"Every day there are new ones [bitcoin] exchanges arriving in Turkey, "said a local university student who for security reasons asked to be sued by his Twitter manager, Bit_gossip.
Another encrypted user, an affiliate marketing professional in Istanbul who also prefers to go with a pseudonym, Bitmov, said he is using bitcoins to buy digital advertising abroad for over three years. Now his family and friends come to him for advice on how to buy bitcoins, he said.
Bitmov told CoinDesk:
"I personally started to encrypt 1.5 years ago due to the weakness of the Turkish lira, and the fear of the political and financial status of the Turkish government The cryptocurrency makes me feel a lot safer. "
Indicating the difficulties caused by recent economic policies, Bitmov said he did not trust the fiat currencies anymore
Similarly, Bunyamin Yavuz, a cardiologist in Ankara, said he no longer trusts local banks and now buys XRP, monero, lumen, among other cryptocurrencies as part of its investment portfolio. Yavuz told CoinDesk that its holdings now consist of 30% cryptocurrencies, 20% US dollars and only 10% lire.
Reflecting the growing interest, Bit_gossip has launched a Discord encryption channel since 2016 which has recently grown to 11,294 Turkish-speaking members. Bitcoin purchases would be even brighter right now if it were not for fear of volatility and scams, he said, explaining:
"Most Turkish crypto traders (actually hodlers) started in late 2017, or the first quarter of 2018, and have obtained
Although Turkish legislators are considering the creation of a national cryptocurrency, local exchanges could encounter greater obstacles if politicians start to fear ascent of bitcoin.
Turkey is not the only Middle Eastern nation considering its cryptocurrency.Iran troubled by inflation is also considering the possibility of a centralized cryptocurrency to revive the & # 39; economy
But unlike Iran, where retail investors often turn to in-person swaps and peer-to-peer exchanges like LocalBitcoins because they are blocked by global platforms both for international sanctions and for local censorship, Turkish banks often work with exchanges. Therefore, Turkish users face fewer obstacles to enter the global market.
However, this could change as, like his Iranian counterparts, Erdogan urges voters to convert foreign investment into local currency.
Yavuz said that the Turkish government could follow Iran's footsteps and restrict access if bitcoin trade grows too quickly, but warned that if they do, "it will be the end of our growth economic. "
Bitmov said rumors were circulating in Istanbul that Turkish banks could soon end their customer support with dollar savings. He added:
"If your national currency is falling like this … or you do not trust centralized currencies and banks, what can you do? You should be your bank, and I'm sure the people around the world will do it. soon. "
Lira image via Shutterstock