Can Turkey’s anti-Bitcoin president find an inflation cure in the metaverse?

Turkey's Erdoğan instructed his party to research blockchain, crypto, and the metaverse despite declaring war on Bitcoin last year.

Turkey’s Bitcoin-hating president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has instructed his party to research blockchain stuff, with a particular focus on the so-called metaverse, reports Crypto Briefing.

Erdoğan recently told officials from his Justice and Development Party (AK Parti) that blockchain is “a delicate matter and should be looked at thoroughly.”

He also wants the lowdown on crypto and social media, with findings discussed in an online forum that he’d attend.

This is quite the turnaround from a man who, just last year, declared “we are in a war against Bitcoin” and banned merchants from accepting crypto as payment.

Erdoğan launched a campaign late last year to encourage buying into Turkey’s floundering lira to avoid a death spiral.

But Turkey’s government has already held its first meeting in cyberspace the metaverse.

Earlier this month, information and communication technology lead Ömer İleri led a virtual get-together during which he said through his crudely-animated avatar (quote via Crypto Briefing):

“As blockchain technology has enabled digital ownership, Turkey has accelerated its metaverse efforts. The metaverse is open to development in virtual reality, product management and innovative business models.”

Metaverse? Turkey turns to Tether to escape plunging lira

İleri isn’t wrong. Despite the country’s “at war” status with Bitcoin, crypto and metaverse concepts have gained traction across Turkey.

Much of this has been attributed to the Turkey’s rapidly devaluing currency. In the past year, Turkey’s inflation rate has soared to more than 30%. The lira has in turn lost 40% since last September.

This is the metaverse, I guess.

[Read more: OPINION: The Metaverse and ‘Web 3’ aren’t even here and they’re already cringe]

This has led to rising numbers of Turkish citizens taking their chances with Bitcoin and even meme coin Shiba Inu rather than risk their savings going down with the banks.

Dollar-pegged stablecoin Tether is also a popular proxy for the US dollar, noted the Wall Street Journal, with inflation-wary Turks increasingly trading liras for USDT.

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