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Turkish Investors Looking for Haven Turn to Stablecoin Tether (USDT)

Turkish Investors Looking for Haven Turn to Stablecoin Tether (USDT)

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In the face of a collapsing lira, Turkish investors increasingly seek refuge in the crypto world, turning to dollar-backed stablecoins like Tether (USDT). Fueled by the lira’s slide to record lows, local demand for Tether has surged over the past month​​. The inclination towards cryptocurrencies has not been a recent phenomenon but a growing trend since early 2023. An analysis of cryptocurrency users in Turkey in Q1 2023 revealed a trading volume of $36.6 billion across eight Turkish crypto exchanges, with the majority of activity concentrated around three Turkish exchanges: Btcturk, Paribu, and Bitexen​/

The economic climate has forced many in Turkey to look for alternatives to traditional financial systems. Since the last election in 2018, the Turkish lira has lost 80% of its value, with economic policies and attempts to control soaring inflation, as high as 80%, with interest rate cuts. This situation has made stablecoins, whose value is pegged to a stable asset such as the US dollar, an appealing option. One Istanbul-based university lecturer remarked that the high inflation had pushed people to invest in stablecoins to maintain some value of their wealth. This reflects a broader trend in Turkey’s crypto market, with lira transactions accounting for 10% of total cryptocurrency trading volumes in the $1.1 trillion a day market in early June​.

However, while the public’s interest in crypto assets is increasing, it’s important to mention that the Turkish government’s stance towards cryptocurrencies needs to be clarified.

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The economic situation in Turkey is fluid, and the rising trend of crypto adoption can undergo changes based on various domestic and global factors. But for now, many Turkish investors see cryptocurrencies, particularly stablecoins like Tether, as a safe haven amidst economic uncertainty.

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