Crypto interest in Turkey is high, despite new regulations Crypto interest in Turkey is high, despite new regulations Crypto interest in Turkey is high, despite new regulations

Crypto interest in Turkey is high, despite new regulations

Anders Nysteen

Senior Quantitative Analyst, Saxo Bank

Summary:  Turkey has been in the crypto spotlight over the past weeks after announcing a ban on crypto payments and after a collapse of two major crypto exchanges. Last Friday the sentiment changed slightly as the central bank governor stated that a total ban is not intended.

The crypto market in Turkey has been poorly regulated until now, and the past weeks have shown a consequence of this. In a week, two Turkish crypto exchanges have been collapsing, causing trading halts and freezing of accounts as the Turkish authorities are investigating potential fraud.

Prior to the collapse, the exchanges were experiencing a drastic boost in trading activity, triggered by the multiple factors. The heavy lira inflation (16 % year-on-year in March) and the instability of the lira have contributed to the crypto trading boost as traders seek to protect their assets. The trading surged significantly in the days after Erdogan replaced the central bank governor, causing the Turkish lira to decrease by more than 13 %.

It is well-known that some traders look to the crypto space in the search for shelter against inflation, despite the huge volatility associated with crypto investments (read more on cryptocurrencies and inflation here). One clear example is illustrated by looking at the trading volume of the cryptocurrency Tether, which is a stablecoin following the value of 1 US dollar. The crypto exchange BTCTurk has experienced drastic increases in trading volume from lira:

Source: Saxo Bank and

When checking Google Trends for the search activity for “Bitcoin” in Turkey over the past month, a clear increase in search activity appears in the past week. And looking at the global search activity, Turkey is at the top:

Past 30 days search activity on "Bitcoin" on Google. (Left) Interest over time, with index 100 as max. (Right) Global top 5 interest by country. Source: Google trends.

Wide range of crypto regulations in the pipeline

The Turkish government has been monitoring the cryptocurrency space for some time. As a consequence of the recent events, Turkey’s central bank announced on April 16 that crypto payment solutions and partnerships will be banned, taking effect from April 30, mentioning “irreparable damage” and “transaction risks” as major factors. This drastic action by a government regarding crypto regulation seemed to have an effect the crypto market as Bitcoin dropped by 4 % after the announcement.

Last Friday, the Central Bank Governor Sahap Kavcioglu stated that in addition to the announced payments ban, Turkey’s Finance Ministry is working on a wide range of crypto regulations, and details are expected to be ready in two weeks time. He furthermore slightly lightened the atmosphere by announcing that a full ban of cryptocurrencies is not in the pipeline, as “You cannot fix anything by banning crypto and we do not intend to do this” (link).

The crypto regulations in Turkey are important to follow as Turkey is one of the first countries to announce significant restrictions on the usage of crypto currencies, and crypto traders seem to be looking to the events in Turkey.

Follow news on this and other important crypto events in our regular crypto updates here.


The Saxo Group entities each provide execution-only service and access to Analysis permitting a person to view and/or use content available on or via the website is not intended to and does not change or expand on this. Such access and use are at all times subject to (i) The Terms of Use; (ii) Full Disclaimer; (iii) The Risk Warning; (iv) the Rules of Engagement and (v) Notices applying to Saxo News & Research and/or its content in addition (where relevant) to the terms governing the use of hyperlinks on the website of a member of the Saxo Group by which access to Saxo News & Research is gained. Such content is therefore provided as no more than information. In particular no advice is intended to be provided or to be relied on as provided nor endorsed by any Saxo Group entity; nor is it to be construed as solicitation or an incentive provided to subscribe for or sell or purchase any financial instrument. All trading or investments you make must be pursuant to your own unprompted and informed self-directed decision. As such no Saxo Group entity will have or be liable for any losses that you may sustain as a result of any investment decision made in reliance on information which is available on Saxo News & Research or as a result of the use of the Saxo News & Research. Orders given and trades effected are deemed intended to be given or effected for the account of the customer with the Saxo Group entity operating in the jurisdiction in which the customer resides and/or with whom the customer opened and maintains his/her trading account. Saxo News & Research does not contain (and should not be construed as containing) financial, investment, tax or trading advice or advice of any sort offered, recommended or endorsed by Saxo Group and should not be construed as a record of our trading prices, or as an offer, incentive or solicitation for the subscription, sale or purchase in any financial instrument. To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, you must note and accept that the content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, would be considered as a marketing communication under relevant laws.

Please read our disclaimers:
- Notification on Non-Independent Investment Research (
- Full disclaimer (

None of the information contained here constitutes an offer to purchase or sell a financial instrument, or to make any investments. Saxo does not take into account your personal investment objectives or financial situation and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the information nor for any loss arising from any investment made in reliance of this presentation. Any opinions made are subject to change and may be personal to the author. These may not necessarily reflect the opinion of Saxo or its affiliates.

Saxo Capital Markets HK Limited
19th Floor
Shanghai Commercial Bank Tower
12 Queen’s Road Central
Hong Kong

Contact Saxo

Select region

Hong Kong S.A.R
Hong Kong S.A.R

Saxo Capital Markets HK Limited (“Saxo”) is a company authorised and regulated by the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong. Saxo holds a Type 1 Regulated Activity (Dealing in Securities); Type 2 Regulated Activity (Dealing in Futures Contract); Type 3 Regulated Activity (Leveraged Foreign Exchange Trading); Type 4 Regulated Activity (Advising on Securities) and Type 9 Regulated Activity (Asset Management) licenses (CE No. AVD061). Registered address: 19th Floor, Shanghai Commercial Bank Tower, 12 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong.

Trading in financial instruments carries various risks, and is not suitable for all investors. Please seek expert advice, and always ensure that you fully understand these risks before trading. Trading in leveraged products may result in your losses exceeding your initial deposits. Saxo does not provide financial advice, any information available on this website is ‘general’ in nature and for informational purposes only. Saxo does not take into account an individual’s needs, objectives or financial situation. Please click here to view the relevant risk disclosure statements.

The Saxo trading platform has received numerous awards and recognition. For details of these awards and information on awards visit

The information or the products and services referred to on this site may be accessed worldwide, however is only intended for distribution to and use by recipients located in countries where such use does not constitute a violation of applicable legislation or regulations. Products and services offered on this website are not directed at, or intended for distribution to or use by, any person or entity residing in the United States and Japan. Please click here to view our full disclaimer.

Apple, iPad and iPhone are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the US and other countries. AppStore is a service mark of Apple Inc. Android is a trademark of Google Inc.