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NANO · 2d

Opportunities in Turkey amid financial crisis and Lira troubles.

logist in Ankara, said he no longer trusts local banks and now buys XRP, monero, lumens, among other cryptocurrencies as part of his investment portfolio. Yavuz told CoinDesk his holdings now consist of 30 percent cryptocurrencies, 20 percent U.S. dollars, and just 10 percent lira.

Reflecting the growing interest, Bit_gossip has run a crypto Discord channel since 2016 that has recently grown to 11,294 Turkish-speaking members. Bitcoin purchases would be even brisker right now were it not for fear of volatility and scams, he said, explaining:

"Most Turkish crypto traders (hodlers actually) started in late 2017, or the first quarter of 2018, and they got rekt." Roadblocks ahead?

Although Turkish lawmakers are considering the creation of a national cryptocurrency, local exchanges may face more hurdles if politicians start to fear the rise of bitcoin.

Turkey is not the only Middle Eastern nation considering its own cryptocurrency. Inflation-riddled Iran is also looking at the possibility of a centralized cryptocurrency to boost the economy.

But unlike Iran, where retail investors often turn to in-person swaps and peer-to-peer exchanges like LocalBitcoins because they are blocked from global platforms by both international sanctions and local censorship, Turkish banks often work with exchanges. So Turkish users face fewer barriers to enter the global market.

However, that may change given that like his Iranian counterparts, Erdogan is urging constituents to convert foreign investments into local currency.

Yavuz said the Turkish government may follow in Iran's footsteps and restrict access if bitcoin exchanges grow too quickly, but warned that if it does so, "it will be the end of our economic growth."

Bitmov said rumors are already circulating in Istanbul that Turkish banks may soon end support for customers with savings in dollars. He added:

"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 soon."

Lira image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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