Bearish Market

Turkish Crypto Exchanges Beating the Bearish Market

With the Turkish Lira dropping to its 6-months low against the US Dollar last week, Bitcoin (BTC) is continuing to pick up even more traction in Istanbul.

Andy Cheung is the head of operations at the global cryptocurrency exchange OKEx. He told that over 30,000 Turkish users signed up for this platform since it expanded its services to Turkey on March 26. The growth of Turkey as a leading bitcoin market is supported by other data too.

Cheung 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.”

The Lira accounts for about 6% of crypto-fiat liquidity in this year, retaining its 2018 rank as the 5th most popular fiat-to-crypto pair globally. As indicated by Ozgur Guneri, BtcTurk CEO, inflation is gradually yet consistently driving Turkey’s bitcoin demand.

Guneri told that his cryptocurrency exchange had on-boarded over 30,000 new users so far this year.

Those sign-ups talk to the relatively high cryptocurrency adoption rates in Turkey. A survey that took place last year in April by the media arm of ING Bank discovered that Turkey dependably had the highest percentage of Bitcoin holders in Europe, with 18% of Turkish respondents saying that they own cryptocurrency.

Guneri, while adding that the retail arm of BtcTurk has dependably seen many days in April with $14 million worth of volume, said –

“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 are signing up new users.”

Where these numbers might look tiny as compared to the US unicorns like Coinbase, Turkish traders have got growing influence in the global marketplace.

Fluctuating inflation has been a major driver of cryptocurrency adoption among Turkish traders. For instance, when the Turkish Lira dropped roughly 20% against the dollar in a single day in August 2018, the trading volume of BtcTurk jumped more than 100%.

Guneri said –

“The U.S. Dollar and the Euro, in my opinion, are not hard money anymore but bitcoin is. Bitcoin is the new generation’s store of value, and sometimes a way of speculating, of course.”

Industry’s Global Players

In the meantime, Guneri’s Istanbul-based exchange launched institutional services for foreign investors earlier in April, BtcTurk Pro, for capitalising on crypt0-to-fiat arbitrage opportunities.

Guneri told –

“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.”

Owing to the strict listing and on-boarding policies of Turkish exchanges mandated by relationships with local banks, a lot of traders acquire their first bitcoin domestically, then send the digital loot to global exchanges with a broader range of trading pairs as well as fiat liquidity options.

Alp Işık, a Turkish vlogger, told in an interview –

“Some 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.”

Alp Işık and Guneri both see cryptocurrency adoption continuing on an upward slope, correlated with volatility for both Bitcoin and Turkish Lira.

BtcTurk’s Guneri, referring to the competition among crypto exchange platforms across the world, 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.”