Russia and Turkey still keep door open to crypto adoption

Marcus Sotiriou, analyst at digital asset broker GlobalBlock, 28/01/2022

Bitcoin dropped around 5 percent on 26 January after the much-anticipated FOMC meeting, where Jerome Powell was more hawkish than expected. Although there was no change to the decision of when to end tapering or hike rates, Mr Powell said that inflation was worse than what was predicted in December, and that they would act more if required. Both equities and crypto fell sharply after the meeting, giving up gains from earlier on in the day.

Crypto is seeing more interest from governments, as the Turkish president Erdogan advised the country’s ruling party to examine the metaverse and cryptocurrencies closely in terms of their potential use. Turkish crypto investors have been very active in buying land in the metaverse. In Istanbul alone, over 11,000 virtual lands are already on the metaverse, with Turkish investors having spent millions.

The Turkish Lira losing value dramatically over the past 2 years has caused many Turks to flock to cryptocurrencies. The Turkish President met with the leader of El Salvador last week, who are the first country to make Bitcoin legal tender. This, alongside the ambition to study cryptocurrencies’ use in more depth, could signal the start of a shift in how the Turkish government views the industry, as they have previously been hostile towards the asset class.

In addition, Russia’s finance ministry has opposed the Russian Central Bank’s call for crypto to be banned, as it would undermine the industry's technological development. President Putin also said that Russia has certain advantages when it comes to Bitcoin mining, because of the country's surplus of electricity and well-trained personnel. The fact that more and more governments are looking at crypto as an asset class that can provide benefits in staying ahead technologically, is a sign of the asset class maturing. Whether or not Turkey or Russia decides to ban or embrace crypto is still uncertain, although I think they will have no choice but to adopt crypto in the end.

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