Turkey Seeks to Make Istanbul Global Blockchain Hub

As Turkey sees growing adoption for crypto, it is now working on supporting more startups in the blockchain and the crypto space.

The Turkish economy has been ailing badly with inflation skyrocketing in recent years. As a result, the adoption of crypto by Turkish locals has also skyrocketed in the meanwhile. Now, the people of the Turkish crypto ecosystem are seeing this bear market as an opportunity to build new tech and make Istanbul the global hub of crypto and blockchain. As said, Turkey is one of the most active countries in the world of crypto and blockchain.

In addition to a massive base of crypto investors, Turkey’s local crypto community consists of Web3 startups, University clubs, academicians, and blockchain developers. In the past, they have also hosted major events like Istanbul Blockchain Week, Blockchain Economy Istanbul, and ETHIstanbul.

Economist Erkan Öz said that the high inflation has been the key driver for Turkey’s growing adoption of crypto. “Many people [in Turkey] think that they can no longer buy a car or a house within the classical financial system. For this reason, interest in crypto assets is increasing daily,” he added.

But the economist stated that the crypto adoption still needs to translate into greater blockchain projects. Blockchain development in Turkey remains slow due to the lack of healthy blockchain regulations in place. “Turkey should establish a legal infrastructure that will both protect investors and support blockchain and crypto assets as soon as possible,” Öz added.

There has been a growing demand for Ethereum‘s largest developer event DevCon 7 to happen in Istanbul. This year it’s been held in Bogota, Colombia. However, several young Turks are proposing Instanbul become the next destination. The ETHIstanbul’s After Merge Party is an example there’s major support for Ethereum from Turkey’s developer community.

Turkey Lacks in Crypto Startups

Although there’s been a growing adoption of crypto, Turkey still lacks it when it comes to crypto startups and developers. Turan Sert, the author of two Turkish books about blockchain and decentralized finance (DeFi), said:

“We started late, but we are growing fast. The main reason for this is student clubs—the success of student clubs abroad and their resonance in Turkey.”

Sert also explains the success of Turkey’s blockchain and crypto-focused student clubs in foreign events. Tansel Kaya, an academic at Kadir Has University and the CEO of Mindstone, thus speaks about bringing more events to Turkey.

“We want our software developers and student communities in Turkey to meet the names in DevCon events, but it is not always easy to go abroad. If we can’t go out, we have to bring them here,” explains Kaya.

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Bhushan Akolkar

Bhushan is a FinTech enthusiast and holds a good flair in understanding financial markets. His interest in economics and finance draw his attention towards the new emerging Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency markets. He is continuously in a learning process and keeps himself motivated by sharing his acquired knowledge. In free time he reads thriller fictions novels and sometimes explore his culinary skills.