BTCTurk becomes the first Turkish lira-to-bitcoin exchange

Bitcoin has taken hold in a number of countries of late, with the latest being Turkey.

AccessTimeIconJul 31, 2013 at 4:52 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 10, 2021 at 11:27 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

We've recently reported the rise of bitcoin in Iran, Afghanistan and Israel, but now another country has jumped on the digital currency bandwagon – Turkey.

BTCTurk launched earlier this month, becoming the first company to enable the exchange of Turkish lira for bitcoin and vice versa.

Emre Kenci, CTO of BTCTurk, said he and his colleagues started to develop the company in January 2013 having watched interest in bitcoin increase across the globe. He told CoinDesk that BTCTurk has received a "good number" of sign-ups since it launched.

"Despite the fact that there is not a single merchant that accepts bitcoin in Turkey, a lot of people are interested in it. The launch of BTCTurk has made bitcoin very convenient for both users and potential merchants in Turkey and we expect the popularity to grow fast."

Kenci said there are currently no laws in Turkey that specifically regulate bitcoin, but BTCTurk operates to the same know-your-customer and anti-money-laundering policies that are compulsory for banks in the country.

In other countries, the faltering local economy has been distinguished as one of the main reasons people are turning to bitcoin, but Kenci said this is not the case in Turkey. This country's economy is currently on its way up, with a 3% increase in GDP witnessed in the first three months of the year, which is the 14th consecutive quarter of expansion.

"Bitcoin is too small to affect the Turkish economy in the short-term. Perhaps in the very long-term, bitcoin might help the Turkish economy by reducing currency weakness and high inflation," he added.

Fırat Demirel, a writer at Webrazzi.com, which closely follows bitcoin developments, agreed that bitcoin is currently too small to make any major changes in Turkey, but more people are becoming interested in the digital currency each day.

"Webrazzi may be the single media channel in Turkey that talks regularly about bitcoin, but BTCTurk's launch was published on a few websites/newspapers. We are going to organise our annual conference - Webrazzi Summit 2013 - in September and, it's not certain yet, but bitcoin should be one of our topics," he said.

Demirel praised BTCTurk for providing people in Turkey with a way to purchase bitcoin with zero hassle and encouraged more people in the country to get behind the digital currency.

Image credit: Flickr

Disclosure

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, institutional digital assets exchange. Bullish group is majority owned by Block.one; both groups have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary, and an editorial committee, chaired by a former editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal, is being formed to support journalistic integrity.


Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.


Read more about