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Crypto fever grips Turkey despite risks, new regulations

Turkish citizens are increasingly investing in cryptocurrencies to shelter savings from the volatile Turkish lira and possibly make profits on the side, a trend that has led to both increased risks and increased government regulations.
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

ISTANBUL — Once ridiculed for his enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies, Cihan Azboy, a shopkeeper in Turkey’s southeastern province of Batman, says everyone is now asking him how to invest in fast-growing and sometimes risky crypto exchanges. 

The queries reflect a rising national interest in digital currencies, best visualized by a recent spike in crypto-related Google searches, particularly in Azboy’s region, where job prospects and income levels are lower than in western Turkish provinces.

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