Bitcoin Surges to All-Time Highs in Turkey and Nigeria

Massive inflation and sliding purchasing power of national fiat currencies has likely boosted demand for bitcoin.

AccessTimeIconOct 27, 2023 at 7:49 a.m. UTC
Updated Oct 27, 2023 at 9:57 a.m. UTC

Declining national fiat currencies and a generally unstable economy have helped propel bitcoin (BTC) to all-time high prices in Turkey and Nigeria, despite the asset trading 50% below its peak in the U.S. dollar terms.

Recent price surges have caused bitcoin to cross price peaks against the Turkish lira and the Nigerian naira, data shows. As of Friday morning, bitcoin traded at 960,000 against lira (TRY) and 27.4 million against naira (NGN), extending monthly gains to as much as 30% in local currency terms.

Local crypto exchanges have traded a cumulative $40 million worth of bitcoin in the past 24 hours, as per CoinGecko. This figure may not include locals trading on global exchanges, such as Binance or Coinbase.

The naira has dropped 0.45% in the past month and 45% in the past six months against the U.S. dollar, while the lira has slipped 2.9% in the month and 31% in the past six months.

An IMF study shows inflation rates in Nigeria rose 25% compared to 2022, while it ballooned 51% in Turkey, causing a massive slide in the purchasing power of TRY and NGN. That has likely boosted demand for bitcoin, a perceived fiat alternative.

Bitcoin has crossed its all-time peak against Turkish lira. (Google)
Bitcoin has crossed its all-time peak against Turkish lira. (Google)

Turkey and Nigeria enjoy a fairly large amount of crypto adoption. A September report by analysis firm Chainalysis pegged Nigeria as the second-most active country, behind India, in terms of users participating in decentralized finance (DeFi) and crypto trading activities. Turkey was placed twelfth on the twenty-country list.

Expectations of a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) approval in the U.S. drove euphoria among crypto investors this past week, driving bitcoin to 20% weekly gains and a near-record options activity.

Price volatility, which was absent in the past several months, seemed to return as bitcoin spiked to $35,000 within hours early this week as the discovery of a ticker tied to BlackRock’s proposed bitcoin ETF led to irrational exuberance – who may have believed it to be a sign of approval.

9:56 UTC: Corrects BTC's Lira-denominated price.

Edited by Omkar Godbole.


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Shaurya Malwa

Shaurya is the Deputy Managing Editor for the Data & Tokens team, focusing on decentralized finance, markets, on-chain data, and governance across all major and minor blockchains.

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