Turkey’s slumping lira adds fuels to crypto trading boom

Posted by Ezgi Erkoyun and Tom Wilson

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The Turkish lira’s dramatic slump has added fuel to a surge in cryptocurrency trading in the country, data showed, with investors hoping to both gain from bitcoin’s rally and shelter against inflation.

Turkey’s currency has lost over 13% since President Tayyip Erdogan fired central bank Governor Naci Agbal earlier this month, stoking fears of looser policy and rising price pressures that could erode the lira’s value.

The aftermath of the Agbal’s sacking accelerated an already growing boom in Turkey’s crypto market.

Trading volumes between the start of February and March 24 hit 218 billion lira ($26 billion) with a spike on the weekend of Agbal’s ouster, data from US researcher Chainalysis shared with Reuters showed, surging from a little over 7 billion lira in the same period a year earlier.

The jump echoes soaring global interest in crypto, driven by bitcoin’s rally to a record of just under $62,000 as major investors and companies embraced the emerging asset.

Yet investors in Turkey said a weaker lira and inflation pressures, as well as hopes of quick gains, have driven demand.

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