Bitcoin and Tether Bought Massively in Turkey as Safe Haven from Falling Lira

The Wall Street Journal reported that the embrace of crypto is currently proceeding at a fast pace in Turkey due to local fiat currency Lira becoming highly volatile and plunging against the USD.

Still, in the traditional world of finance, crypto is believed to be very volatile as well.

Turks grabbing BTC and USDT, despite crypto ban

In late 2021, Lira (TRY) began to plunge against the USD with trading volumes involving Lira soaring to $1.8 billion per day on average on three crypto exchanges, as per data by Chainalysis. Back in 2019, this volume was a lot higher—approximately $71 billion worth of Lira spent on crypto per day.

Turkish people are after USD-pegged stablecoin Tether in particular. In the fall, 2,020 investors traded Lira against USDT more than the TRY/USD and TRY/EUR pairs, according to CryptoCompare.

Since September 2021, Lira has dropped by a whopping 40% against USD, while Bitcoin rose by the same percentage against the dollar by the start of November. At the moment, BTC is below that level by over 10%.

While Turks used to keep their savings in USD and gold, now they are choosing crypto: BTC and Tether.

Turkish investors have been feeling their way into crypto, despite the law that banned the use of digital currencies as a means of payment back in April 2021.

Taking Action

The new figures came as Visa announced that it is launching a global crypto advisory service as banks and merchants explore how to adopt digital currencies.

The credit card giant is hoping to help businesses that are seeking to attract new customers — or retain their existing clients.

And with a number of big brands rolling out NFTs to the masses — including the likes of McDonald’s and Disney — Visa also wants to support retailers who are interested in launching their own collections.

The new service could also benefit central banks as they weigh up whether to push ahead with launching their own digital currencies. A number of institutions, including the Federal Reserve, are yet to definitively decide whether to proceed. Visa’s deputy CEO for Europe, Antony Cahill, said:

“Crypto represents a technological shift for money movement and digital ownership. As consumers change their approach to investing, where they bank, and their views on the future of money, every financial institution will need a crypto strategy.”

The company says it has seen a “material shift” in the mindset of its clients over the past year — “from a desire to explore and experiment with crypto to actually building a strategy and product roadmap.”

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