20% of Turks Use or Own Cryptocurrencies, Report Says

Neil Dennis

A survey by a German data firm suggests that Turkey is one of the world's biggest adopters of cryptocurrencies despite the country having no legal framework for trading such assets.

Hamburg-based Statista revealed that in an online poll one-in-five Turks said they had used or owned cryptocurrency. This could be related to the country's weaking fiat currency and economic woes, which could've led to increased cryptocurrency adoption as investors hedge.

Statista's dataSource: Statista

Cryptocurrency trading has been deemed illegal in neighbouring Iran under Sharia law. While Turkey remains a secular nation, the governing AKP Party - under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan - makes no secret of its Islamist agenda and support for the Muslim Brotherhood. Like Iran, Turkey is in the process of developing a central bank issued digital currency (CBDC) - hoping to launch in 2023.

Turkey's Lira Crisis

Turks' love of crypto may have evolved from the country's economic crisis of 2018 that saw the sovereign currency - the lira - plunge to a record low against the dollar. The savings of millions of Turks were greatly devalued by the financial crisis, with pensions and investments seriously hit.

Thus, the perfect conditions have been created for growth in crypto holdings in Turkey. As cryptoassets have stabilized in value in recent months, Turkish investors are increasingly seeing the asset class as a safer store of value.