Cryptocurrencies Gain Ground in Turkey
Ankara, June 19 (EFE) .- Cryptocurrencies have taken over Turkish wallets, not only for investors but also for low-income workers looking to protect their savings or seduced by the promise of high income from digital gold .
â€œI started investing because a friend advised me to do so,â€ a car wash worker in Ankara called Batuhan told Efe.
â€œI first invested $ 150 and made some income, but lost a lot the last time Bitcoin fell in value. I now have $ 60 left, which varies between 55 and 80 depending on the day. We don’t know what’s going to happen, but I will continue for now, â€he said.
His co-workers are also speculating in the digital stock market, motivated by such motives as earning extra money to cover daily expenses, paying off loans or buying a car, they told Efe.
Nearly six million people invest in cryptos in Turkey, according to cryptocurrency monitoring platform CoinGecko, while other studies claim that 16% of Turkish residents have stakes in digital currencies, making it the fourth world power in cryptocurrency investment.
Daily transaction volume exceeds $ 1.6 billion, as crypto gurus flood social media with financial advice and major city stores start accepting cryptocurrency payments.
Selcuk, a teacher in Istanbul, says he is investing his savings in bitcoins to avoid losing purchasing power following the depreciation of the Turkish lira, after a 36% collapse against the euro in 2020, and a further 12% drop through 2021.
â€œIn Turkey, it is common for families to have gold reserves. Now I am trying bitcoin because it can even make me money, â€he says.
But speculation comes with risks. In April, the Turkish digital trading market Thodex, with a daily movement of $ 700 million, ceased operations without notice, preventing users from accessing their wallets.
More than 400,000 Thodex customers are fighting a legal battle to recover their savings, a total of $ 108 million, and Turkey has issued an arrest warrant against the fugitive owner, Faruk Fatih Ã–zer.
In addition to buying cryptocurrencies, some citizens have found the ability to survive restaurant and store lockdown restrictions by reallocating their home computers to bitcoin mining.
The digital operation requires massive computing power, but in fact allows the creation of new units of digital currency.
â€œAll of my friends are mining bitcoin. Those who already had computers refitted them for mining, â€said Sadik Sahin, who was forced to close his internet cafe in Ankara during the pandemic.
His old cybercafÃ© is equipped with 50 computers, with an additional high-performance PC at home, all of which generate around 1,500 euros each month, as long as the value of bitcoin remains stable. EFE
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