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Turkish Residents Turn To Cryptocurrency As U.S Triggers ‘Economic War’

Swati Goyal
Turkey’s Lira plummeting to a new all-time low, against the dollar, is the latest catalyst behind increased cryptocurrency adoption in the European nation. Increased digital currency adoption also stems from the fact that residents have their options limited given that the country is also at crossroads with the European Union.

Steel & Aluminum Tariff Raise

Turkey finds itself in a ferocious economic meltdown on President Donald Trump approving a 20% tariff increase on the country’s Aluminum export and a 50% tariff increase on Steel. The turmoil has increased the appeal of most cryptocurrencies with Bitcoin (BTC) adoption on the rise.

The standoff between the two countries stems on Turkey refusing to budge to pressure and release evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson on trial for terrorism charges. Turkey opting to purchase Russian defense system also appears to have exacerbated the tensions.

“If the U.S. is turning its back on us…choosing a pastor instead, sorry…we continue our path with decisive steps. This treatment by America of its strategic partner has annoyed us, it has upset us,” said President Tayyip Erdogan.

A 30% plunge of the country’s currency Lira has forced Turkey’s residents to turn to cryptocurrencies for economic relief. The country’s cryptocurrency exchanges have started experiencing a spike in trading volume a trend expected to gain momentum as the citizens lose confidence in fiat currencies. The Lira alone is down by more than 40% for the year.

While trading volume remains low compared to that registered in other countries, the same could change as the Lira continues to lose value against the majors. Turkish Lira made up 0.07% of all Bitcoin trades in response to the tariff standoff; more than double the average volume recorded by local exchanges.

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Increased Crypto Adoption

Cryptocurrencies exchanges are increasingly cropping up to take advantage of increased demand for cryptocurrencies services. One crypto user by the pseudonym Bitmov has been using Bitcoin to buy digital ads abroad and now reports an increase in interest from friends and family looking to purchase digital currencies.

Increased cryptocurrency adoption also comes at a time of waning confidence on the country’s financial system. In recent years, citizens have questioned the country’s economic policies which they fear are not doing much to avert the effects of the severe debt crisis.

Turkish residents appear to be following on the footsteps of other countries that have turned to cryptocurrencies to avoid economic sanctions triggered by a standoff with the U.S. Venezuelans have turned to cryptocurrencies on the country’s currency diving on a standoff with the U.S. Iran is another nation that is considering launching its own cryptocurrency as a way of boosting the economy following economic sanctions from the U.S.

Concerned by the effects of the economic war with the U.S Turkish lawmakers are reportedly considering the creation of a national cryptocurrency.

While a good move, local exchanges remain skeptical about its potential impact is given Bitcoin’s popularity. The exchanges fear the government following Iran footsteps and restricting access to Bitcoin exchanges as a way of raising the nations’ official cryptocurrency profile.

This article was originally posted on FX Empire

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