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Turkey on Its Own Bitcoin Bull Run With Europe’s Highest per Capita Hodler Rate

Turkey On Its Own Bitcoin Bull Run With Europe’s Highest Per Capita Hodler Rate

Recent data has recorded a huge increase in Turkish investors in the cryptocurrency space during recent weeks.

With a backdrop of weak Turkish Lira and an ongoing political wrangle with the US over procurement of a Russian made missile defense system, 2018 has seen a 28% depreciation of the Turkish currency.

There is a winner here nonetheless, and it looks like it could be Bitcoin with as many as 18% of Turkish respondents claiming ownership of some form of cryptocurrency. Global crypto exchange OKEx, has now extended its services to Turkey and experienced a rush of new Turkish registrations totaling some 30,000 within its first week. This could be an ongoing situation whilst the Lira struggles, maintains Turkish crypto blogger Alp Işık:

“Users can increase their investments in bitcoin during the volatile periods of the Turkish lira… Turkish users generally use local exchanges as a gateway to foreign exchanges.”

With Turkey now accounting for the highest per capita percentage of Bitcoin holders throughout Europe the stage seems set for becoming a world ranking user of crypto says OKEx’ Andy Cheung claiming that “It has one of the most robust and promising crypto communities anywhere in the entire world.”

The fiat economy, however, has some tough months ahead according to ING Turkey’s chief economist Muhammet Mercan as a further inflationary period is highly likely with the risk of further weakening of the Lira and “dollarisation in the economy.”All good news for crypto exchanges however, as further inflation promises to bring its own benefits for crypto users, as BtcTurk CEO Ozgur Guneri explains:

“The volatility of the Turkish lira is quite high and couple that with the price of bitcoin … and we have a market that is illiquid enough that sometimes there are inefficiencies that you can benefit from. Yet we are liquid enough for institutional investors to operate.”

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Crypto Exchange Suppressing the Bear Market in Turkey

Crypto Exchange Suppressing the Bear Market in Turkey

With the value of the Turkish Lira dropping to a six month low, cryptocurrency exchanges have seen a significant uprise in Turkey, especially in the city of Istanbul. The Lira boasts of being the fifth most popular fiat-to-crypto pair worldwide.

The head of operations at the global crypto exchange OKEx, Mr. Andy Seung said:

“Turkey is without a doubt the only country that boasts of a high percentage of independent crypto-ownership in Europe and the Middle East. It has one of the most robust and promising crypto communities anywhere in the entire world.”

According to BtcTurk CEO Ozgur Guneri, more than 30,000 new users have come on board with his crypto exchange.  Last year, a survey conducted by the ING bank revealed 18% of the respondents from Turkey hold or use Bitcoin cryptocurrency, making them the highest percentage of Bitcoin holders and users in Europe.

“We have never seen a declining number of users, just the pace of growth might go down a little bit. Even on the most bloody day, we’re signing up new users. Bitcoin’s retail arm has already seen several days in April with $14 million worth of volume,” said Guneri.

One of the main reasons for the increase in crypto adoption among the Turkish is the continuously fluctuating inflation of the Turkish Lira. The decrease in the value of the lira drives more people to switch to crypto exchanges.

Moreover, various Turkish traders acquire Bitcoin from the domestic market and then send it into global exchanges with better offers for fiat liquidity. The decreasing lira value also attracts foreign investors that simultaneously open the gates to a wider range of trading pairs.

Referring to competition among exchange platforms around the world, BtcTurk’s Guneri said: “There is definitely a global space for [crypto-to-crypto], but I think there will be a consolidation in terms of real volume. There will be significant value in local markets and local knowledge.”

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Bitcoin Trade Skyrockets on Turkey’s Crypto Exchanges as Lira Plummets

Cryptocurrency trading surged in Turkey on Friday with the news that the country’s struggling fiat currency lira plunged in value on the money markets.

More concerns about President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s economic policies and Turkey’s debt level sent the lira spiralling as global markets reflected their concerns about the state of that country’s economy. This was good news however for cryptocurrency as trading volumes at three of Turkey’s main crypto exchanges Paribu, Btcturk and Koinim witnessed a jump of 100% in just 24 hrs.

Turkey has experienced a bear market this year but terms of its relationship with Bitcoin and other cryptos, it’s been very upbeat, as one local university student observed on the weekend, “Every day there are new [bitcoin] exchanges coming up in Turkey.”

User Bitmov, an Instanbul marketing professional has been using bitcoin for over year to make overseas purchases and has now become his families crypto advisor. He commented:

“I started personally trading crypto 1.5 years ago because of the weakness of the Turkish lira, and fear of the political, and financial, status of the Turkish government. Cryptocurrency makes me feel much safer…If your national currency is falling like this … or you don’t trust centralized currencies and banks, what can you do? You should be your own bank, and I’m sure people all around the world will realize that”

This attitude is frequently reflected in other countries where unstable currencies are driving nationals towards a more stable kind of currency, such as in Venezuela and parts of Africa. Another such cryptocurrency user is Cardiologist from the capital Ankara, Bunyamin Yavuz who says he’s completely lost his trust of banks and now buys crypto such as XRP, Monero, and Stellar lumens. Yavuz only holds 10 percent of his currency in Lira, but 30 percent in cryptocurrencies.

There have been talks of a national cryptocurrency in Turkey for some time, following in the footsteps of the Venezuelan Petro, but this could hurt local exchanges if Bitcoin continues to become stronger and positions itself as an alternative.

Iran has gone the same way, although looking at a government-run crypto. But their current crypto trading position is different due to the use peer to peer transactions, overseas sanctions, and local government restrictions. Greater freedom exists in Turkey for those who wish to trade in Bitcoin. Concerns are growing though that the Turkish government may begin to take a harder line on cryptocurrency trading similar to that of its middle eastern neighbor.

The fall in the lira may be the first of many, given Erdoğan’s threats of an “economic war “ with the US. Although he has appealed for his country’s support for the currency, asking Turkish nationals to buy up the ailing lira for any other currency they own. It’s unlikely to be Bitcoin.

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Courtesy: Coindesk

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