Yerevan (CoinChapter.com) — Bitcoin surged to $100,000 in Turkey’s peer-to-peer cryptocurrency markets after the Turkish Lira crashed by up to 14 percent this Monday.
The TRY/USD exchange rate fell to as low as $0.11 compared to its February high of 0.144 after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan unexpectedly sacked Naci Agbal, the central bank governor who repeatedly hiked interest rates in an effort to boost the Turkish Lira’s value and contain inflation since his appointment in November last year.
Bitcoin Searches on Google Explodes
Analysts and investors feared growing political influence in Turkey’s central bank policymaking after Mr. Agbal’s removal. In turn, that sapped appetite for Turkish assets, leaving the lira under intense selling pressure in open markets. Bitcoin, with its ability to work independently from governments’ and central banks’ influence, emerged as an insurance asset to people that wanted to circumvent Turkey’s inflation woes.
Google searches for the keyword ‘bitcoin’ surged almost twofold while the Turkish Lira sunk. Meanwhile, according to data provided by bitcoin marketplace LocalBitcoins.com, sellers’ Ask price for the benchmark cryptocurrency hovered between $64,000 and $100,000 — it was trading around $58,000 in the US — showing that investors picked Bitcoin as their safety net.
Bitcoin does well in times of regional financial turmoils. People raised their bids for the cryptocurrency during the hyperinflation crisis in Zimbabwe and Venezuela. They also used it to circumvent tighter capital controls in China and Greece in their previous debt crisis.
Investors anticipated that the ongoing economic crisis in Turkey would provide additional tailwinds to Bitcoin, which was already trading roughly 1,500 percent higher than its prices in March 2020. Some analysts anticipate the cryptocurrency to reach $100,000 in global markets; a mettle Turkey appears to have achieved much earlier due to its regional financial issues.
“Turkish Lira down 14%, at the same time [the] Google searches for Bitcoin doubled in Turkey,” said investor Marc van der Chijs. “A falling currency may be a blessing in disguise if it gets a country and its citizens into BTC much earlier than other countries.”
Local investors in Turkey could also jump ships from traditional markets to cryptocurrencies as the country’s benchmark bourse suffers hugely.
On Monday, the Borsa Istanbul 100 stock index plunged by as much as 9.4 percent, logging its worst one-day decline since June 2013 while triggering two trading halts. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq-listed iShares MSCI Turkey exchange-traded fund dropped 17.5 percent ahead of the New York opening bell.
At the same time, Bitcoin was wobbling between profits and losses as global market focus remained glued on the rising US bond yields.