Kucoin Report: Turkey’s Crypto Investor Base Grows by 12%

Cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin has unveiled its 15th report in the “Understanding Crypto Users” series, focusing on Turkey. The report reveals a 12% uptick in the percentage of Turkish adults investing in cryptocurrencies over the past 18 months, despite challenging market conditions and a depreciating Turkish lira.

Key Findings

According to the report, the proportion of adults in Turkey between the ages of 18 and 60 who have invested in digital assets has climbed from 40% in November 2021 to 52% as of May 2023. This uptick occurs in the context of the Turkish lira depreciating by more than half against the U.S. dollar, indicating a growing perception of cryptocurrencies as an inflationary hedge within the nation.

Demographics and Investment Trends

Gender Gap Narrows: While men still constitute 57% of crypto investors, women, particularly among the younger generation, are catching up. Nearly half (47%) of crypto investors aged 18 to 30 are female.

Younger Generations Lead: Investors aged 31 to 44 make up the majority at 48%, followed by those aged 18 to 30 at 37%. A significant 31% of all crypto investors made their first investment in the last quarter.

Investment Motivations and Preferences

Investment Goals: 58% invest for future wealth, 37% for value storage, 25% for portfolio diversification, 34% for ease of transfers, and 17% for quick profit.

Popular Assets: Bitcoin remains the most popular investment target, capturing 71% of overall interest, followed by Ethereum and stablecoins, which gain 45% and 33% interest, respectively.

Trading and Community Influence

Trading Dominates: 70% of Turkish crypto investors are primarily involved in trading, while 22% are buying NFTs.

Community Impact: 57% of participants became familiar with crypto through family or friends, underscoring the role of personal connections in crypto adoption.

Johnny Lyu, CEO of KuCoin, stated, “We are excited to present this comprehensive report that sheds light on the dynamic crypto community in Turkey. We aim to contribute to a more informed crypto landscape and encourage responsible adoption.”


The data in the report is based on an online survey conducted between May 5 and May 12, 2023, using the SurveyMonkey Audience tool.

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Ethereum Co-Founder Vitalik Buterin Donates 50 ETH

At this point, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has made at least two significant donations to aid the victims of the earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria a week ago.

The earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 occurred on February 6th. The current death toll is at 33,000, making it one of the worst disasters the world has seen in recent decades.

Throughout the last week, the co-founder of Ethereum has been among the numerous people who have actively donated Ether (ETH) to fund rescue efforts in Turkey. According to blockchain security company PeckShield, his most recent contribution was made on February 12 and consisted of 50 ETH, which is equivalent to around $77,000. This was given to Anka Relief.

Anka expressed gratitude to the co-founder of Ethereum for his generosity and said that cryptocurrency contributions have been coming in from the very first day.

“Ever since the first day of the crisis, we have seen contributions building up in the wallets of a select few of the world’s most prominent NGOs. The group said that it was wonderful that they had garnered and will continue to draw additional cash.

Anka has supplied a list of cryptocurrency wallets that may be used for the purpose of monetary contributions. The Web3 Relief Support Organization is also the driving force behind the Ukraine DAO initiative, which aims to solicit crypto contributions in order to fund relief operations in the country that is now under siege.

The most recent contribution brings Vitalik’s total amount of ETH contributed in aid of those affected by the earthquake to 100. Ahbap is a nongovernmental and nonprofit organization committed to humanitarian activities in Turkey. On February 11, an address associated with vitalik.eth sent about 150,000 ETH worth of ETH to Ahbap.

Additionally, multiple crypto addresses have been supplied for different coins that Ahbap is able to receive as contributions.

It claims that it has received crypto contributions totaling $4.3 million to this far, with stablecoins being the vast majority of the tokens submitted. Etherscan reports that the Ahbap wallet has a total of 409 ETH, which had a value of $622,000 at the time this article was written.

On February 10, the Financial Times in London published an article stating that cryptocurrency contributions had been coming in from all across the world. More than ten million dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency have been donated by various businesses, with Binance alone contributing five million dollars to the relief efforts in Turkey.

Additionally, Binance announced the distribution of $100 worth of BNB (BNB) tokens through airdrops to users in the locations that were struck the worst last week.

It is not the first time that contributions for earthquake assistance have been made using cryptocurrency. In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal in 2015, many relief groups received contributions in the form of bitcoin.


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Thodex Founder Arrested by Turkey Police in Albania

Albania police officers have arrested the founder of cryptocurrency exchange Thodex, who had fled Turkey and left investors’ funds irretrievable, the Turkish Interior Ministry announced on Tuesday.

Albania’s Internal Affairs Minister Bledar Cuci informed his Turkish counterpart Suleyman Soylu that Faruk Fatih Ozer was caught in Vlore, a major city in the Republic of Albania, and his identity was confirmed by biometric results.

Albania police informed the Turkish interior minister “that the founder of Thodex, the fugitive Faruk Fatih Ozer, wanted with a red notice (by Interpol), was arrested in Vlora, Albania,” the Turkish Interior Ministry mentioned in a statement.

The ministry added that “extradition procedures to Turkey have been initiated.”

Ozer will be charged with accounts of fraud and founding a criminal organization.

Investors Fell into Scam

In April last year, Thodex, a cryptocurrency exchange based in Turkey, went offline and its CEO was reportedly gone missing, leaving thousands of investors worried that their funds had been stolen.

The founder of the crypto exchange was suspected of having fled Turkey with the assets of his clients. Turkey police eventually issued an international arrest warrant for fugitive businessman Faruk Fatih Ozer, who fled with a reported $2 billion in investors’ assets.

Before the escape, Thodex said its platform had been temporarily closed to address an abnormal fluctuation in the company accounts.

Local media reports indicated that Thodex’s founder took a flight to Albania, taking $2 billion of investors’ funds with him. Turkish security officials then released a photo of what they said was Ozer leaving Istanbul Airport.

During its business operations, Thodex launched aggressive campaigns to lure investors. The platform had first pledged to distribute luxury cars to customers through a flashy advertising campaign featuring famous Turkish models.

Faruk Fatih Özer’s exchange suddenly went offline while holding at least $2 billion from almost 400,000 investors.

Turkish authorities issued an international warrant seeking Ozer’s arrest. Police eventually arrested 62 people linked to the firm in eight cities including Istanbul.

Thousands of Thodex users filed complaints against the firm, with investors saying they were unable to access their accounts and that their savings were irretrievable.

Some Turkish citizens had turned to cryptocurrency as a way to protect their savings from rising inflation and the weakening of the Turkish lira.

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Binance CEO Discusses Crypto Ecosystem with Turkish Officials

The push by Binance, the world’s largest exchange by trading volume, to expand its influence has continued to gain increased momentum in Turkey.


The exchange’s Chief Executive Officer, Changpeng Zhao, known on Twitter as ‘CZ’, met with Turkish officials where he discussed issues bothering the crypto ecosystem.

“We had a virtual meeting with Mr. Changpeng Zhao, the founder of Binance. Mr. @cz_binance and I had discussions on the blockchain ecosystem and crypto assets,” said Dr.Nureddin NEBATİ, Turkey’s Minister of Treasury and Finance, one of the key officials that were a part of the meeting.

While the exact details of the conversation were not revealed, crypto Twitter has been speculating that something big might be underway between the trading platform and the Turkish government.

Over a year ago, Binance came under fire for operating illegally in quite a number of jurisdictions. With its license revoked, it made up its mind to pursue a more wholesome relationship with regulators across the board. With its commitment to tightening the loopholes in its engagement with regulators, it has earned one of the most impressive backing from regulators over the past year.

In his global campaign to get regulators’ nod, CZ has visited a number of government officials in France, Dubai, and even Kazakhstan. CZ’s meeting with Kazakhstan’s officials also involved signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the country’s President, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, as the parties looked to foster digital education and transformation in the country.

Binance’s efforts have produced operational licenses in key regions, including Spain, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Italy amongst others. The trading platform has reiterated how it is committed to ensuring governments around the world introduce functional regulators that can help foster the industry’s growth as a whole.

The meeting with the Turkish Minister is yet another way in which the trading platform is taking the lead in the industry.

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Turkish Female Investors Shows More Crypto Knowledge than Male Counterparts, Study Shows

In Turkey, more women are investing and trading cryptocurrencies as their crypto curiosity tops that of men, according to a survey by crypto exchange KuCoin.

Per the announcement:

“One of the key takeaways is how women in Turkey get involved in crypto. More specifically, they are almost as well-represented as men in the trading and investing segment. Female accounts represent 47% of investors and 63% of the crypto-curious.”

Female crypto investors stand at 47% in Turkey, just slightly lower than their male counterparts at 53%. 

Nevertheless, women’s desire to know about cryptocurrencies is considerably higher at 63% than men at 37% in the nation. 

The study noted that Turkey was a vital region for crypto adoption despite the absence of regulatory frameworks, given that interest for crypto-assets was rising, especially among older generations and women. 

One of the catalysts of crypto interest entails the ongoing financial turmoil witnessed in the nation. For instance, runaway inflation has caused the nation’s currency, the Turkish lira, to lose nearly 50% of its value. 

The report noted:

“To avoid the decreasing purchasing power from savings in lira, consumers flock to alternative investment solutions. The U.S. Dollar and gold remain favorable options, but overall demand for exposure to cryptocurrencies is rising.”

Exploring the cryptocurrency waters in areas like derivatives, stablecoins, and metaverse projects have become the norm in Turkey as mass adoption remains on track. The survey reads:

“Roughly 40% of the internet population aged 18-60 own cryptocurrencies or have traded such assets in the past six months. Moreover, 59% of crypto investors will increase their exposure in the first half of 2022.”

Cryptocurrencies are also coming to the rescue of Argentinians as high inflation rates continue to bite. The annual inflation rate on Argentinian soil does not seem to be slowing down because economists speculate it will hit 55% this year from 50.7% recorded in 2021.

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Turkish blockchain company opens regional crypto exchanges in globalization bid

Turkish blockchain provider Bitci seeks to establish local crypto exchanges in Brazil and Spain in a bid to lure local crypto investors.

A Bitci spokesperson told Cointelegraph that Bitci is planning to open new crypto exchanges in the countries where the company has sizeable deals and assets, as Reuters reported. The first stop for Bitci’s international expansion, also a first for Turkish crypto exchanges in general, is Brazil.

Bitci CEO Onur Altan Tan said in an interview that the Turkish blockchain provider aims to open its first exchange outside of Turkey in February in Brazil. Spain would see the second international Bitci exchange in March. By opening local crypto exchanges in said countries, Bitci aims to provide better service to local investors, a spokesperson told Cointelegraph.

Starting with its Brazilian exchange, Bitci also wants to strengthen its connection with local soccer clubs. Being a blockchain provider, Bitci helped more than 25 soccer teams to launch their fan tokens.

Speaking to Reuters, Bitci’s CEO said that the exchange has valuable assets in Brazil. “We have released fan tokens of Brazil’s national team and we have agreed with six other clubs,” he added. Exclusive fan token deals with soccer clubs would help Bitci to jumpstart its growth in Brazil, according to Tan.

Related: Turkish and Salvadoran presidents meet, Bitcoiners left disappointed

Bitci saw aggressive growth over the last year, signing partnership deals with a number of renowned sports entities like Brazilian and Spanish national soccer teams as well as the Formula 1 team McLaren Racing.

As the coronavirus pandemic has diminished profits for the sports industry, fan tokens quickly became a trend among sports clubs looking to generate new revenue streams. The unclear regulatory framework surrounding cryptocurrencies in Turkey can also be seen as a key driver for Turkish crypto companies to look for growth opportunities around the world.