According to a recent study shared by the cryptocurrency exchange Binance, the Turkish lira became the most traded fiat pair on the Binance platform in September. Despite being the fourth largest cryptocurrency market in the world after the US, India, and the UK, the Turkish lira accounted for 75% of the total fiat volume at the beginning of September.
This surge in lira trading pairs is attributed to the recent influx of crypto investors in the Turkish market. According to the Binance study, 27% of the participants entered the crypto market as investors within the past year, and only 8% joined in the last six months.
Most participants hold funds in cryptocurrencies up to $175 (5,000 lira) and prefer investing in real estate. As shown in the graph below, profitability is one of the main reasons for Turkey’s interest in crypto. Easy data monitoring in the crypto market, absence of minimum limits for asset purchases, and low transaction costs continue to be notable driving factors for new investors. However, the natural risks associated with crypto have led to a lack of trust among many Turkish investors.
In the past three years, crypto adoption in Turkey has increased from 16% to 40%, placing us 12th in Chainalysis’ 2023 Global Crypto Adoption Index. Turkey also gained attention globally by receiving humanitarian aid in crypto during the 2023 earthquake.
There is no sign of slowing down the adoption of the crypto sector in Turkey, and new regulations are being prepared to persuade the country to be removed from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) gray list for managing crypto assets.
FATF included Turkey in the gray list in 2021. Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek stated that Turkey complies with all 40 standards set by the monitoring organization, except for one, which is related to crypto assets. Şimşek mentioned their plan to propose a crypto assets law to the parliament for delisting from the gray list, but they have not presented the legal changes to the public yet.