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12 December 2019

Turkey’s Unexpected Rise to the Top of Global Crypto Adopters

Turkey’s Unexpected Rise to the Top of Global Crypto Adopters


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When thinking of countries that are ahead of the curve in crypto adoption, Turkey might not be the first place that springs to mind.

However, Statistica's Global Consumer Survey for 2019 shows that a fifth Turkish residents are acquainted with crypto and have been exposed to it in some form or another.

Flying under the radar, Turkey has undoubtedly become a crypto giant, and with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently announcing that testing of the digital lira is to be finalized in 2020, crypto is destined to become even more popular.

In fact, observing the rapid rise of crypto and blockchain in the country, Cointelgraph has unveiled the Turkish edition of the outlet this year.

The online payment sector in Turkey had been ready to adopt crypto, but the first opportunity only came when PayPal was banned in the country following the rejection of its license by the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency.

Barış Özistek, the chairman of both venture capital fund Boğaziçi Ventures and games publication company Netmarble EMEA, attributed the high adoption of crypto to the advanced gaming market of the country, telling Cointelegraph, “There are more than 30 million active gamers in Turkey.

In that interview, Orhan said Turkey was not the best place to develop crypto, not even Bitcoin itself, as the country did not have any frameworks nor the political stability set up to deal with the technology.

He added that: “I think this is the reason why people connected to Bitcoin or alternative cryptocurrencies do not want to show their face or their true name to the general public.” These are some harsh criticisms for a country that would become a global leader in crypto adoption just five years after these words were said. .

Talking about the country’s policymakers jumping on the crypto bandwagon early, Ozgur Guneri, the CEO of the BTCTurk exchange, told Cointelegraph that he believes Turkish policymakers are keen to see what blockchain and crypto can bring to the table, adding that:

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