Inflation is the most significant global problem in 2022, as mentioned in our past blog article, inflation and cryptocurrencies. You can read the article to learn what inflation is and why it is high now. In this article, I would like to provide a specific example of how high inflation affects crypto adoption in a country. Turkey is an emerging country with a high inflation problem, and its citizens are losing purchasing power every day.
Turkey was once heard among BRICS countries, and some economists offered the term BRICS+T because Turkey had a very promising economy. Turkey enjoyed the post-mortgage crisis cash-abundant world to the fullest in the early years of the last decade. Foreign investments were not navigated smart, and the Turkish economy started to crack in the last half of the last decade. Political tension kicked the boot in the economy too. The Turkish economy has been facing severe problems since 2015.
The government believes high-interest rates cause high inflation despite the fact that the theory says that high inflation causes high-interest rates. While western developed countries' central banks raise interest rates in 2021 and 2022, the Turkish Central Bank is taking a reverse step and keeps interest rates low. Low-interest rates are not competitive and don't attract foreign money to the country.
The Dollar is constantly gaining strength against other currencies in 2022. The Turkish Lira suffers most compared to other emerging country currencies. One US Dollar was between 8-9 Turkish Lira in the summe of 2021. Since then, Dollar's price has doubled up against the TRY and is now currently traded above 18.
US Dollar is not the only winner against the Turkish Lira. Overall prices, from milk to gas, from bread to rents, have doubled in a year. Turkey's inflation is over %80 in August 2022 and prices are rising every day. If milk is 10 Lira today, you will probably buy the same milk for 15 Lira next week. Gas prices hit five times more than last year's prices.
Buying Dollars, Euros, and gold is typical behaviour during high inflation, and so did Turkish citizens. But this time it is quite different. Many people in Turkey buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies as a store of value. Keeping your money in crypto is a way to hedge against inflation in Turkey. There are rumours that crypto is banned in Turkey. But there hasn't been action against crypto from the government yet. The government even held a meeting by inviting exchange executives and popular names from the industry and drafted a road map to regulate cryptos. But since then, there hasn't been any official step.
If you purchased $100 worth of Bitcoin in July 2021 when the Bitcoin price was $32k level, now your Satoshis would be worth $62. You actually lost some money in Dollar currency. But if you purchased 100 TRY worth of Bitcoin in July 2021, your Satoshis is worth 140 TRY now. You are still in profit in TRY.
Bitcoin price in Turkish Lira was always above the 360-day average until the Luna crash. Most people in Turkey who purchased Bitcoin last year are satisfied with the return. According to surveys, the number of crypto users in Turkey is elevenfold in a year in 2021. Trading crypto is attractive for the young generation. Making a profit even by hodling crypto makes trading more appealing for those who want to earn more. There are rumours that crypto is banned in Turkey. But there hasn't been an action against crypto from the goverment yet.
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