Turkish Lira Becomes Third-largest Fiat Currency For Crypto Trading

Photo by Omid Armin on Unsplash

The Turkish Lira (TRY) has emerged as the third-largest fiat currency used for cryptocurrency trading, according to a report from Kaiko Research.

The Lira now holds 19% of the market share, surpassing the euro (EUR), and reaching an all-time high in early June.

This shift reflects broader economic trends and the increasing adoption of cryptocurrencies in regions experiencing economic instability.

What’s driving crypto adoption in Turkey?

Turkey has been struggling with significant inflation since 2022, with rates peaking at over 70%, severely diminishing the value of the Lira. As a result, Turkish citizens have increasingly turned to cryptocurrencies as a hedge against inflation and currency devaluation.

This trend is similar to other jurisdictions facing economic challenges, where cryptocurrencies are seen as a safer store of value.

The Kaiko report highlights that the recent surge in TRY’s market share can also be attributed to foreign exchange volatility.

Divergent monetary policies and a record number of elections in 2024 have contributed to increased volatility in global currency markets.

For instance, Japan’s Yen fell to a 30-year low against the US dollar, the Mexican Peso hit its lowest level since October 2023, and the British Pound (GBP) reached its highest level in two years against the euro.

Impact of regulatory changes and Binance’s market dynamics

Another significant factor influencing the growing use of TRY in cryptocurrency trading is the recent regulatory challenges faced by Binance, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges.

Over the past few years, Binance has lost several banking partners due to regulatory scrutiny.

In 2022, Paysafe, the partner handling GBP deposits, severed ties with Binance due to regulatory uncertainties in the UK. Subsequently, Binance ended its partnership with Australian bank Westpac, which managed AUD deposits.

As a result of these changes, Binance delisted GBP and AUD trading pairs, leading to a shift in market share towards the Turkish Lira.

This transition has further bolstered TRY’s volume in the cryptocurrency sector, as traders sought alternative currencies for their transactions.

Turkey’s evolving regulatory landscape for cryptocurrencies

The increasing prevalence of the Lira in the cryptocurrency market comes as Turkey is considering new regulatory frameworks for the sector.

Abdullah Güler, the ruling party chairman, has proposed a bill to establish comprehensive regulations for crypto service providers.

This proposed legislation would grant the Capital Markets Board (CMB) greater oversight of the cryptocurrency sector and introduce licensing measures for crypto firms, aiming to enhance compliance with international standards.

Additionally, Turkey’s Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek has announced plans to implement a taxation framework for gains from cryptocurrency investments.

This move is expected to address criticisms from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which has placed Turkey on its “grey list” since 2021 due to concerns over financial transparency and compliance.

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