Turkey, a country of 80 million people located in between the Middle East and Europe, appears to be transforming into a crypto and blockchain hotspot. One of the most striking facts is a Statista survey found that 20% of Turkish citizens used or owned cryptocurrencies in 2019. This is the highest crypto adoption rate in the world, and four times greater than the adoption rate in the United States of 5%.
Perhaps the primary reason that Turkish citizens are turning to cryptocurrency is that the local economy is in turmoil, and the native fiat currency, the Turkish Lira, has experienced severe inflation in excess of 100% over the past few years. This means that Bitcoin (BTC) is more stable than the Lira and a better solution for holding money, even with all of the volatility on the Bitcoin (BTC) market.
Also, the Turkish government has a favorable stance on cryptocurrency and blockchain. The Turkish Central Bank is developing a national blockchain-based cryptocurrency, which would be a stablecoin pegged to the Lira. Simultaneously, the government is planning on implementing blockchain-based technology throughout the entire financial system, in addition to creating a national blockchain that will be used for real-world applications in the public sector.
The government’s favorable view towards crypto has facilitated the entrance of major cryptocurrency exchanges into the country as well. Binance recently launched a fiat to crypto gateway in Turkey, where users can exchange Turkish Liras for Bitcoin (BTC), Binance Coin (BNB), Ethereum (ETH), and Ripple (XRP). Huobi also plans on expanding into Turkey aggressively, including the establishment of its own fiat to crypto gateway.
Overall, it seems Turkey is a case example of how crypto and blockchain can be quickly adopted in countries with weak fiat currencies.