Cryptosystem and blockchain in Turkey met 2020 with great ambition and good reputation in 2019, which was the best year in terms of implementation. Following the publication of the Global Consumer Survey 2019 statistics, which show that Turkey is the world leader by a wide margin when it comes to cryptocurrency, one major cryptocurrency exchange after another announced plans to open a store in the country.
Huobi and Binance have opened offices in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city and business center. Major players from Europe like Crypto.com and Bitpanda have shown a clear interest in the Turkish cryptosystem. The country’s national currency, the Turkish lira, has become a common trading pair on world exchanges.
The Turkish government and the public sector have taken active steps against blockchain adoption: after announcing plans for a national blockchain infrastructure, the government also detailed a roadmap for digital currency for the National Central Bank. Turkey’s 2020 annual presidential program sets the end of 2020 as the deadline for pilot trials of the blockchain-based national digital lira. Around the same time, the Capital Markets Authority of Turkey announced plans to develop a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies.
The Turkish cryptocurrency ecosystem was gearing up for a high octane year in early 2020, but a pandemic happened and many aspects of this layered progress had to hit hard.
Not much different from the rest of the world
It is difficult to talk about the future of money, innovation, or new trends if they do not bring immediate relief during this period when people gather in front of TV screens to hear the news of life and death. When the pandemic first appeared, no one paid attention to cryptocurrencies for two months in Turkey. Even the halving of 2020 Bitcoin (BTC), the first since an all-time high in 2017, failed to grab the attention of the masses.
People need – and still need – effective access to health care and medicines, clarity about vaccine advances, and only then a safe haven to safely store their assets. Bitcoin can only provide one last. Therefore, conversations about cryptocurrencies in the early period of the pandemic were limited.
Highest Bitcoin price relative to Turkish Lira
2020 has not been a bright year for the Turkish economy. COVID-19 was definitely not the only factor affecting a country that was already struggling. But pandemic-triggered panic, uncertainty and tough government talks to tackle the outbreak have led to a sharp depreciation of the Turkish lira against bitcoin, the dollar and most other currencies in the global market. Steve Hankey, a Johns Hopkins University professor who called the lyre a “bowl” on Twitter, said that “Turkey has run out of ammunition in its senseless defense against the desperate lira” and that the only solution is a currency backed by gold.
But the Turkish cryptocurrency market says a little differently. People who lived at home for a long time were fascinated by digital assets that were so easy to access and trade, and many began to give cryptocurrency a chance as a new asset. With Bitcoin halving, the recent surge in decentralized finance projects and the price of BTC close to $ 20,000 again, crypto exchanges in Turkey and global players targeting Turkish users shared staggering numbers in the second half of the year. BtcTurk, a leading local crypto exchange, announced in August that it has over 1 million users trading on the platform.
Another major stock exchange also saw a significant increase in trading volume: in an interview with Cointelegraph Turkey, Yasin Ural, CEO of Paribu, explained that the platform experienced significant increases in daily trading volume during the recent rally in the crypto markets. sometimes it exceeds $ 200 million.
This volatile Turkish Lira activity has caught the attention of global markets throughout 2020. The lira-linked stablecoin BiLira (TRYB) has been listed on several global exchanges such as Bittrex and BTSE.
Top Cryptocurrencies in Turkey
In September, the Turkish Information and Communication Technology Authority published a “Cryptocurrency Research Report”. This study led to two important results:
First, the top five cryptocurrencies invested in Turkey are Bitcoin, XRP, DigiByte (DGB), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Stellar Lumen (XLM), respectively. This leaves loyal customers from global charts like Ether (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC) outside the top five.
Second, the report claims that there are 2.4 million cryptocurrency owners in Turkey, or about 3% of the population. These numbers contrast with an earlier report by Statista, which claims that 20% of the 80 million people living in Turkey have “access to cryptocurrency.”