Declining national fiat currencies and a generally unstable economy have helped propel bitcoin (BTC) to all-time high prices in Turkey and Nigeria, despite the asset trading 50% below its peak in the U.S. dollar terms.
Local crypto exchanges have traded a cumulative $40 million worth of bitcoin in the past 24 hours, as per CoinGecko. This figure may not include locals trading on global exchanges, such as Binance or Coinbase.
The naira has dropped 0.45% in the past month and 45% in the past six months against the U.S. dollar, while the lira has slipped 2.9% in the month and 31% in the past six months.
An IMF study shows inflation rates in Nigeria rose 25% compared to 2022, while it ballooned 51% in Turkey, causing a massive slide in the purchasing power of TRY and NGN. That has likely boosted demand for bitcoin, a perceived fiat alternative.
Expectations of a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) approval in the U.S. drove euphoria among crypto investors this past week, driving bitcoin to 20% weekly gains and a near-record options activity.
Price volatility, which was absent in the past several months, seemed to return as bitcoin spiked to $35,000 within hours early this week as the discovery of a ticker tied to BlackRock’s proposed bitcoin ETF led to irrational exuberance – who may have believed it to be a sign of approval.