Turkey is preparing for new legislation in the crypto sector, creating uncertainties about the potential strictness of the impending laws. However, despite these uncertainties, major banking institutions in the country are actively securing their positions in the digital asset space. This surge in institutional adoption of crypto showcases the growing interest and potential of cryptocurrencies in Turkey.
One of Turkey’s largest banking groups, Akbank, made headlines by announcing the acquisition of local crypto firm Stablex. This acquisition clearly signals Akbank’s intent to become a key player in the digital asset arena. By entering the crypto market through this acquisition, Akbank is positioning itself to capitalize on the growing adoption and investment potential of cryptocurrencies in Turkey.
Following Akbank’s move, Garanti BBVA, another major bank in Turkey, launched its own digital wallet. This mobile app not only provides users with a convenient way to manage their digital assets, but it also includes a cold wallet function. The inclusion of a cold wallet in the app allows users to securely transact with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and various stablecoins, further facilitating the adoption of crypto in Turkey.
Despite the government’s efforts to slow crypto adoption, Turkey has consistently ranked among the top 20 countries in Chainalysis’ Global Crypto Adoption Index for 2023. This ranking showcases the significant interest and participation of Turkish citizens in the crypto market. The high levels of adoption can be attributed to the country’s struggle with inflation in its fiat currency, the lira, driving people to seek alternative investment options like cryptocurrencies.
According to a survey conducted by major crypto exchange KuCoin, over half of the Turkish population now participates in some form in the crypto market. This highlights the growing awareness and interest in cryptocurrencies among Turkish citizens. Despite the central bank’s prohibition on using crypto for payments in 2021, there has been no total ban on the use of digital assets in the country.
As Turkey prepares for new legislation in the crypto sector, the rise of institutional adoption of cryptocurrencies indicates the potential for a thriving digital asset market in the country. With major banking institutions like Akbank and Garanti BBVA making significant moves in the crypto space, it is clear that they recognize the opportunities and value that cryptocurrencies can bring. As the number of crypto investors in Turkey continues to climb, it will be interesting to see how the government responds and shapes the regulatory framework to promote responsible and sustainable crypto adoption in the country.