Turkey tops the world in stablecoin buying share vs. GDP

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The United States may lead the world in stablecoin transaction volumes, but its share of stablecoin purchases relative to its gross domestic product (GDP) has been eclipsed by Turkey.

According to “The 2024 Crypto Spring Report,” released on April 25 by the blockchain intelligence firm Chainalysis, Turkey has the highest share of stablecoin purchases relative to its GDP.

Based on Chainalysis’ data, stablecoin buying in Turkey accounted for 4.3% of its GDP between April 2023 and March 2024, making it the world’s biggest spender of stablecoins relative to its GDP.

Turkey’s GDP was $907 billion as of 2022, and total stablecoin purchases were $38 billion, Chainalysis director of research Kim Grauer told Cointelegraph. She added that such purchases included any swap between the Turkish lira and a stablecoin in either direction. She stated:

“This is an aggregate figure of transfers of the Turkish lira to stablecoins and stablecoins to the lira, that stablecoin activity does not impact the GDP; rather, we expressed the stablecoin activity as a percentage of GDP in order to provide context for readers.”

The size of the stablecoin market in the Turkish economy stands out from other economies analyzed by Chainalysis. According to the report, stablecoin purchases in Thailand and Georgia accounted for 1.3% and 0.7% over the same period, respectively.

Ranked fourth, the U.S. has a 0.5% share of stablecoin buying from its GDP, while the European Union follows with a share of 0.3%.

Stablecoin purchasing as a share of GDP by country from April 2023 to March 2024. Source: Chainalysis

The use of all stablecoins — including Tether (USDT) and USDC (USDC) — has surpassed all other types of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH), representing more than 50% of all transaction volume in recent months, according to the report.

The analysts believe the rapid growth of stablecoins in overall transaction activity shows a high level of utility as they played a major role in the broader adoption of crypto for everyday transactions outside of trading.

According to Chainalysis findings, the U.S. has been the biggest jurisdiction in the world in terms of stablecoin transactions over the past year. Fiat purchases of stablecoins in the United States surpassed $20 billion in March 2024, adding at least 200% since April 2023.

Related: Stablecoin competition crucial for regulatory engagement — Tether CEO

Other major jurisdictions like the European Union, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Brazil and Thailand have also significantly increased fiat purchases of stablecoins over the past year, according to Chainalysis data.

Fiat purchases of stablecoins from April 2023 to March 2024. Source: Chainalysis

Chainalysis analysts suggested that nations have been increasingly buying stablecoins amid local currency volatility and devaluation. That particularly relates to Turkey, which saw its inflation rate surge to as high as 67% in March, according to the Chainalysis’ “Geography of Cryptocurrency Report 2023.”

Local industry experts previously claimed that residents of countries like Turkey frequently turn to stablecoins like USDT to preserve their savings when the local currency loses value.

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