Bitcoin got caught in the crossfire when the Turkish opposition leader voiced his support
Shortly after a “dictation” by the newly appointed Turkish central bank governor on Friday morning, which effectively banned any use of cryptocurrency in the country, Bitcoin (BTC) now appears to be caught in a partisan riot, for which a Turkish opposition party leader has spoken out in favor of the digital Currency.
As reported by Cointelegraph, Turkey’s central bank announced on Friday that as of April 30, all cryptocurrency payments and fiat-to-crypto onramp transactions will be illegal. In addition, the direct or indirect use of crypto assets for payment services and the issuance of e-money is prohibited.
In response to the drastic announcement, Turkish opposition party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu spoke out in favor of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general in a series of tweets:
I met with various stakeholders all day. Blockchain and crypto are the only areas where our $ 1 billion (unicorn) ventures will emerge. Turkey
You will meet startups in the financial technology sector. They have no tolerance for young people. No no no! https://t.co/lKGwm9Tt7q
– Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (@kilicdarogluk), April 16, 2021
“Who did you consult the crypto decision to, oh ruler?” he asked, probably referring to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was described as an authoritarian and dictator. “I will sit down and consult everyone involved in this issue.”
He later found that after speaking with “stakeholders all day” he concluded that crypto is the most likely sector for Turkey to produce over $ 1 billion worth of “unicorn” businesses. He added that the announcement shows that the ruling party has “no tolerance for young people”.
Aside from its usefulness as a political topic of conversation, the ban will have a significant impact on many Turks. A survey in 2019 found that Turkey is one of the leading countries for adopting cryptocurrencies (although this study has undergone in-depth scrutiny). It comes with a stable lira-pegged coin listed on multiple exchanges, and a local exchange, BtcTurk, even sponsors football clubs.
However, the writing could have been on the wall for crypto in Turkey. To take control of the country’s payment infrastructure, Turkey banned PayPal in 2016. Likewise, plans were underway in 2020 for a government-run digital currency that may have been the most damaging to Turkish rulers. BTC hit an all-time high against the lira earlier this year.
Turkish money has lost more than 70% of its value in the past 6 years. Currently 16% per year. #Bitcoin is freedom
– Dennis Parker (@Xentagz) April 16, 2021