Searching for “Bitcoin” on Google has soared to a new all-time high in Turkey following the ban on cryptocurrency payments in the country. A few days ago, the government placed a total ban on all use of cryptocurrencies for payments in the country, citing concerns about the safety of user funds.
However, the ban appears to be creating the opposite effect to what it was intended to achieve. Although the ban coincided with a drop in the price of Bitcoin from which it has yet to recover, interest in the asset has increased in the country as indicated by search volume.
The ban sparks interest in cryptocurrencies
Turkey is not the first country to ban the use of cryptocurrencies. Other countries like Nigeria have done the same recently and like Turkey, interest in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general increased. Rather than curb the use of cryptocurrencies, the number of Nigerians using Bitcoin actually increased after the ban.
As a result, regulators are now considering ways to regulate the asset and also benefit from adopting it rather than placing a ban that has proven ineffective. The case of Turkey seems to go the same way, as citizens rely on Bitcoin as a hedge against the inflation that plagues the country's currency, the lira.
Earlier this month it was reported that demand for Bitcoin had surged as inflation surged by 16% in the country.
Several other countries, such as Venezuela, are still dependent on Bitcoin for the same reason as Turkey, making it difficult to ban the asset in those countries. With the growing interest in Bitcoin, will the Turkish government continue to enforce the ban or will it seek a better way to regulate the asset as the Nigerian government is doing?