Crypto investment is alive and well in Turkey, thanks to lira woes. In the window of NakitCoins, a cryptocurrency exchange located. Just off Istiklal Boulevard, Istanbul’s main pedestrian walkway. A screen displays the current exchange rates of several digital currencies. The exchange attracts the attention of passing pedestrians. Who stop to look at the rates displayed on a screen in the window.
The brick-and-mortar exchange, which allows customers to buy and sell Bitcoin. And other digital currencies, is only visited by a handful of people. Despite the fact that there has been a recent history of scandalised exchanges. The brick-and-mortar exchange. Serves as a physical example of how the faltering Turkish lira. Is propelling the popularity of virtual cryptocurrencies in Turkey.
Throughout the years, interest in cryptocurrencies has grown among Turks. As it has among the rest of the world. Turkey’s economic crisis, on the other hand, has prompted millions of curious observers. To actually put their money into cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum. And other digital currencies, rather than just watching them.
Despite the fact that cryptocurrency values are vulnerable to significant and erratic price swings. New converts are drawn to cryptocurrencies for a variety of reasons, not only the profit possibilities they provide. A period in which the Turkish lira has been pummeled by devaluations. With the currency losing over 40% of its value in the previous year alone. They saw virtual currencies as a potential store of value to preserve their assets.
Turkish entrepreneur Cem Yilmaz, who founded the cryptocurrency exchange NakitCoins in 2018. And has since expanded the company to three locations throughout Turkey. Believes that rising public interest in cryptocurrencies is the latest manifestation. Of the Turkish public’s desire for safe investments.
Yilmaz created NakitCoins to assist crypto-curious people
Turkish citizens, he claims, “are extremely interested in investing. Whether it’s in forex [foreign exchange], gold, or more recently, cryptocurrency.”
Ylmaz founded NakitCoins in order to assist those who are interested in cryptocurrencies. In getting over their apprehensions about putting their money. For a new virtual investment vehicle that exists only in cyberspace. Through exchanges that exist only online.
“We already had a number of online exchanges in Turkey. So we reasoned that it would be advantageous to have a physical facility. Where people could come and ask questions and put a face to cryptocurrencies. Rather than merely going online?” he explained.
According to Yilmaz, the majority of NakitCoins customers today are foreigners. Who indicated that current Turkish restrictions make it impossible to conduct business. With currency denominated in Turkish lira (TL). He and other players in the country’s cryptocurrency economy, on the other hand. Are hopeful that new regulations, which are also currently being prepared. Would allow them to operate more directly.
‘Cryptolization on Crypto Investment’
According to Reuters, daily crypto transactions in Turkey reached one million in March last year.
The jump came after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Fired the country’s central bank governor unexpectedly that same month. Volumes began to fall in April after the central bank declared. It would no longer accept cryptocurrency payments. Two Turkish cryptocurrency exchanges. Thodex and Vebitcoin – collapsed in late April. Wiping off millions of customers’ holdings.
After a series of central bank interest rate decreases in response to rising inflation. The lira’s value plummeted in the closing months of last year. With trading volumes surpassing one million per day.
Billboards and television commercials also increasingly promote public access to the crypto market. With Bitcoin’s current value listed alongside the US currency and the euro.
Experts say the increased understanding also shows how crypto is increasingly. Replacing foreign currency or traditional stores of value like gold. As a hedge against an insecure local currency.
“In the past it was dollarization, when people put their assets in dollars. To prevent currency fluctuations,” he told Al Jazeera. “This new tendency is called cryptolization.”
Additionally, User numbers grew from 1.5 million in early 2021 to 5 million by year’s end. And daily trade volume also increased from $20m in 2020 to over $500m by year’s end.
And Paribu and BTCTurk aren’t the only options for the country’s also booming crypto community. Turkey has global exchanges like Binance and Coinbase.
Because not all exchanges make their data public, it’s difficult to estimate. How many Turkish investors possess crypto. Sert says specialists put it at between 10 and 11 million.