Vitalik Buterin Discovers New Friends in Turkey?
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Nov. 19, 2018
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Turkish crypto community finally caught the attention of the ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin. Turkish people have been replying and commenting on Buterin’s tweets for a long time now. Vitalik asked in his tweet if there was a large Turkish community he hadn’t interacted with yet.

And that was what Turkish crypto enthusiasts were waiting for.

“The economic situation in Turkey+demographics+natural course of viral spread created a lot of crypto enthusiasts over the 9 months,” Cornell Professor Emin Gun Sirer replied.

In fact, there is not only a large crypto community in Turkey, but also there are well-structured projects, organizations, developers, and miners.

In 2018 Turkish Lira (TRY) lost 40% of its value against U.S. dollar, the inflation reached 25%, and a gallon (3,7l.) of gas cost 25 TL ($4.7). The economy is not doing very well and because of this one out of every five people either knows, hodls, or mines crypto.

In terms of technology, blockchain has a wide audience in Turkey as well. So much actually, there are research and education centers focused on blockchain development and real-life improving projects such as BlockchainIST.

Interview With ‘BUG and BlockchainIST’ Founders

Earlier this year, iHodl had an interview with the founder of the center, Bora Erdamar. Professor Emin Gun Sirer is also on the advisory board of BlockchainIST.

There are Turkish investors and entrepreneurs either looking for a blockchain project to invest in or already actively participating in some promising startups.

There are several international blockchain and crypto events in Turkey which local startups, as well as industry giants such Binance, Circle, and Stellar, attend.

This September iHodl was at Blockchain Fest Istanbul, meeting with global players as well as local projects, where we took an exclusive interview with the Head of In­ter­na­tional Mar­kets at Bi­nance, Ted Lin.

Blockchain Fest, Istanbul - Event Overview

From the local authorities perspective, crypto is not yet regulated in Turkey. However, at the beginning of this September, Turk­ish state ex­change Borsa Is­tan­bul (BIST) has de­vel­oped its own blockchain for cus­tomer data stor­age. This is considered to be an indicator of the growing interest in crypto and blockchain technologies among Turkish institutions.

Istanbul Stock Exchange Switches to Blockchain

According to a survey by August, 18% of the Turkish respondents own crypto assets. Crypto fever is still very high in Turkey against all odds such as very expensive electricity, no regulations, and failing economy. Buterin says that he knows the word ‘kapilar’ which means ‘doors’ from his visits to Turkish Airports. Turkish crypto community considers his tweet as a first ‘merhaba’ (‘hello’ in Turkish) and hopefully ‘kapilar’ will open for the community and further development of the technology.

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