Turkish Lira’s Volatility Rivals that of the Bitcoin Price: Report

If you think the bitcoin price has taken you on a wild ride of late, it could be worse. The Turkish lira remains in freefall, rocking not only the local economy but spilling over into vulnerable emerging markets as well. In fact, the short-term volatility in the lira versus the U.S. dollar has surpassed that of leading cryptocurrency bitcoin, a report in Bloomberg pointed out.

Source: Bloomberg

Indeed, based on 10-day performance in the lira versus the U.S. dollar, volatility has exceeded that of bitcoin, Bloomberg reported. A Turkish constitutional referendum last year inspired similarly wild swings. Meanwhile, the lira and bitcoin are neck-and-neck for year-to-date declines at 45% and 55%, respectively.

Beating out bitcoin on volatility is not a coveted title, especially when you consider bitcoin’s ride since it’s December 2017 peak, since which time it’s shed more than half of its value. This summer alone, the bitcoin price has gone from approximately $5,800 in June to more than $8,000 in July only to fall back below the $7,000 shortly thereafter to almost $6,700 today. It has fallen through support levels like a hot knife through butter, but the plight of the Turkish lira is arguably worse. Turkey is facing a crisis of confidence in its currency, which is making other forms of payment, most notably bitcoin, more attractive.

Cryptocurrency a Refuge

So what’s a Turkish investor to do? Increasingly they are seeking refuge in cryptocurrencies, where the environment remains relatively friendly compared to other jurisdictions for crypto trading, say India. Bitcoin trading volumes that are up by double-digit percentages across local exchanges Koinim, BTCTurk and Paribu, as reported by Forbes. BTC trading volume on Turkey’s largest crypto exchange Koinim is up more than 60%. Over on BTCTurk, volumes are up by more than one-third and on Paribu it’s reportedly up 100%.

Meanwhile, the trade tensions between the Trump administration and Turkey surrounding steel and aluminum sanctions and tariffs only seems to be escalating, which could push investors and consumers alike further into crypto.

Taken the South American country of Venezuela, for instance. Dash Core has been thrust into the spotlight there as the poverty-fueled Venezuelan economy has been reeling from hyperinflation, as evidenced by hundreds of merchants now accepting the No. 14 cryptocurrency by market cap as a payment method. The same could happen in Turkey, though it’s unclear which cryptocurrency would be the top choice. Dash put boots on the ground in Venezuela to make integration and adoption more seamless and their efforts appear to be working.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Gerelyn has been covering ICOs and the cryptocurrency market since mid-2017. She's also reported on fintech more broadly in addition to asset management, having previously specialized in institutional investing. She owns some BTC and ETH.