At the Plan B Forum in Switzerland, Rikki and David from the Bitcoin Explorers Project shared their observations on cryptocurrency adoption in Turkey and Lebanon, countries currently grappling with severe inflation.
Crypto in Turkey
Rikki described the rampant inflation plaguing Turkey, with prices rising 60% annually, according to official statistics, and possibly more unofficially. He recounted seeing locals lining up to exchange Turkish lira for US dollars and gold to preserve their purchasing power.
Rikki also showed images of Bitcoin ATMs and shops accepting cryptocurrency in Istanbul, evidence of growing Bitcoin (BTC) adoption. However, he noted usage may still be limited, as the Turkish government banned cryptocurrencies for payments in April 2021.
Crypto in Lebanon
The explorers then turned to Lebanon, where inflation has skyrocketed to over 250% amid a major economic crisis. Rikki discussed Lebanon’s corruption, financial collapse, port explosion, and other woes.
Rikki showed images of unfinished buildings, closed banks, ubiquitous power generators, and solar panels, illustrating the crisis’ impact. The explorers paid for a hookah in Bitcoin to demonstrate crypto usage, but Rikki again stressed that stablecoins are more commonly used than Bitcoin currently. He emphasized the need for more Bitcoin education in both countries.
Rikki then criticized government military spending and how fiat currency allows countries to fund wars via debt. He passionately argued that Bitcoin could help limit wars by imposing financial discipline on governments.