Cryptocurrency adoption is a wicked problem for the crypto community. Right now, many of the people who hold crypto do so as a form of investment rather than as a form of usable currency. Many retailers, including online retailers, still do not accept crypto. In essence, low adoption is preventing higher adoption. However, more and more people are adopting crypto as a currency. That inspires more businesses to accept it which makes it easier for more people to adopt.
Where we do see new cases of crypto adoption, it is usually because of some new use-case. In some parts of the world, crypto is more stable than the local fiat. In some places, crypto is easier, cheaper, or safer to move across borders.
For all of these reasons, experts are keeping close tabs on where crypto is being adopted and why. So, when recent reports stated that we, Turks, lead Europe in cryptocurrency adoption, we had to look into it.
What’s Happening in Turkey?
The report comes from BTCNN and draws on an IGN survey, the results of which have not yet been made public.
According to the report, almost 20% of Turks hold cryptocurrency. That’s more than twice the European average of around 9%.
Most people wouldn’t think of Turkey first when they think of big crypto adopters. However, 16 M crypto adopters can’t be wrong. The question is, what makes us right?
Why the Crypto Adoption?
According to the report, analysts believe that Turks are flocking to cryptocurrency to protect their money from volatility.
People in many countries believe that volatility in crypto is downside. This is true compared to most currencies.
However, the Turkish lira has been trending down since early February. Some reports put inflation at around 25%. Compare that with Bitcoin which fluctuates within 1% or 2% most days and cryptocurrency becomes a security rather than a liability.
A popular crypto influencer tweeted “This is how Bitcoin takes over the world. […] through replacing fiat currencies as they fall apart.” Is that true?
It might be.
What it Means for the Rest of the World
That tweet wasn’t the first time that someone has predicted global cryptocurrency adoption. Crypto expert Andreas Antonopoulos has said that a crisis in one area leads to “massive conversion in a very limited geography”. When one region adopts, it becomes easier for other regions to follow suit. This is partially because people treating crypto as currency rather than as investment leads to greater stability. Once crypto has been established in an area, it is likely to remain popular even if local fiat currencies stabilize.
A very similar scenario began playing out on the other side of the world in Venezuela in February.
It’s true that Venezuela and Turkey aren’t the whole world. However, it could be the realization of the early stages of adoption forecasts.
Tamara is a marketing and PR professional, enthusiastic about crypto, blockchain and technology in general. She’s the editor here at Bitcoin.