Turkey’s Erdogan set to meet El Salvador’s Bukele – crypto on the agenda?


At the same time that Turkey is looking to regulate cryptocurrencies, El Salvador is planning to launch its $1 billion bitcoin-backed bond. A meeting will take place today between Erdogan and Bukele. An exchange of views on crypto is extremely likely to take place.

On the surface, it would be difficult to find two more polarised leaders than Erdogan and Bukele. The Turkish leader is thus far very negative on private digital assets, while on the other side of the coin, the El Salvadoran president is ultra bullish on Bitcoin to the extent of helping to make it an officially accepted currency in his country alongside the dollar.

Edrogan appears to be firmly entrenched in his view that cryptocurrencies should be restricted, having sent a crypto law to parliament last December. He is seeking to strengthen the lira and is trying to turn Turkey’s economy around in the face of run-away inflation.

However, Turkish citizens have been avidly jumping into cryptocurrencies in a desperate attempt to avoid the harsh inflation, together with the effects of a 40% reduction in the value of the Turkish lira against the dollar just last year.

Bukele will very likely bring up the subject of cryptocurrencies with Erdogan in the meeting, given that he is one of the leading proponents of private digital assets in the world. Whether someone with such firmly held opinions as Erdogan will listen, is another matter.

The Financial News of London website published an article today agreeing with this. It quoted Turan Sert, an advisor to Turkish cryptocurrency exchange Paribu:

“As an administration, they are a vocal advocate of bitcoin so I’m pretty sure he’s going to bring up the bitcoin issue. They may listen to him but I’m not sure it will have much effect on the thinking of the Turkish administration.” 

Both leaders have played major roles in regard to currency in their countries and both have drawn fierce criticism internationally. Bukele sees Bitcoin as a way of breaking out of the stranglehold and dependence of his country on the dollar. While Erdogan has obliged his finance ministers to keep interest rates low, sacking those who didn’t comply.

Bukele may well be feeling the pinch as bitcoin continues to wallow in the doldrums at the $40,000 price level, but it looks like he has a much easier task on his hands than Erdogan, at least for the time being. The Turkish president is facing 36% inflation as of December, with economists predicting that it will climb to 50% in the coming months.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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