The number of bitcoin searches on Turkish Google has soared today to new heights. The increase was due to the fall in the value of the lira. The Turkish currency lost 15% during the day following President Tayyip Erdogan’s decision to fire the central bank governor.
Turkish Lira fell 15% in one day
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shocked the whole country over the weekend by slowing down without any explanation from the governor of the country’s central bank – Naci Agbala. Although Erdogan did not give a reason, it is widely believed that the dismissal is a direct consequence of Agbal’s policy of keeping interest rates high.
The president has repeatedly emphasized that in his opinion such action leads to an increase in inflation. Interestingly, however, according to Bloomberg, the Turkish lira significantly appreciated during Agbal’s short tenure.
Shortly after Agbal’s removal, Erdogan replaced him with Sahap Kavioglu, a banking professor and columnist for a pro-government newspaper. Kavioglu, the fourth bank chief appointed since July 2019, shares Erdogan’s belief that high interest rates lead to high inflation.
However, Turkish markets and local currency did not react well to weekend events. The lira fell 15% against the dollar in minutes. This pressure hit the stock market, where the benchmark Borsa Istanbul 100 index fell by almost 10%. Bonds in both local and foreign currencies also plunged.
Turks are switching to Bitcoin?
The country’s economy suffered a severe blow, and some citizens were apparently looking for more non-traditional solutions. While Turkey maintains a somewhat controversial policy on gold – an asset considered a safe haven, residents have increased their appetite for so-called digital gold.
Data from Google Trends shows that Bitcoin searches have soared today and reached new heights. Additionally, the growing interest has led many people to take advantage of peer-to-peer exchanges such as LocalBitcoins.
Rapidly rising demand and the falling value of the Turkish lira have led to an exceptionally high price in lira. The minimum price for BTC has risen to TRY 510,000 ($ 64,000), and in some cases sellers have been asking over TRY 750,000 (nearly $ 100,000).
It’s worth noting that bitcoin hit a new all-time record against the lira even before it did against the dollar last year. The price of one BTC exceeded TRY 100,000 in October 2020. The previous record was TRY 70,000 and was recorded at the end of 2017.