God willing, bitcoin will bring us the championship

God willing, bitcoin will bring us the championship

We Turks are usually not firsts in adopting new technologies; we actually lag behind by a few months, sometimes years, in the latest trends in the U.S., South Korea or Japan. I am not talking about cellphones of course; that’s a very different topic.

But what’s interesting is that when we discover a new trend, we follow it relentlessly. For example, we got on Facebook and Twitter much later than many other countries, but we are among top users now. We got broadband internet a lot later than many another countries. But now we are hooked on it. The same goes with e-sports. It is now quickly becoming mainstream, but we caught up on it 10 years after South Korea and Japan. We Turks are usually not firsts in adopting new technologies; we actually lag behind by a few months, sometimes years, in the latest trends in the U.S., South Korea or Japan. I am not talking about cellphones of course; that’s a very different topic. But what’s interesting is that when we discover a new trend, we follow it relentlessly. For example, we got on Facebook and Twitter much later than many other countries, but we are among top users now. We got broadband internet a lot later than many another countries. But now we are hooked on it. The same goes with e-sports. It is now quickly becoming mainstream, but we caught up on it 10 years after South Korea and Japan. 

The very same thing happened with cryptocurrencies. We did not initiate any cryptocurrency; there are only a handful of experts out there, but there are cryptocurrency enthusiasts everywhere. We have quickly become the sixth biggest market in terms of the number of bitcoin trading. However, the majority of the trades are less than $1,800. So you may assume that there are many people who dream of owning a house a few years later with their couple of thousand dollars worth of investments in bitcoin today. 

We began seeing people giving bitcoins as gifts to newlyweds or newborn babies. It was a tradition to given old coins as gifts, but now everybody is accepting cryptocurrencies. 

Very recently, an amateur football club did a first in the world. They signed a player with bitcoin. Harunustaspor Chairman Haldun Şehit had told Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency that the club paid Ömer Faruk Kıroğlu 2,000 Turkish Liras worth of bitcoin (0.0534 bitcoin) in addition to 2,000 liras ($540). Şehit said the club decided to sign Kıroğlu with the cryptocurrency to make the team known “in Turkey and the world.” Şehit added: “God willing, bitcoin will bring us the championship.” The club competes in the first division of Sakarya’s amateur league. 

Another first: Bloomberg has reported that the first freight deal settled in Bitcoin was executed last month on a vessel carrying wheat from top shipper Russia to Turkey, according to Prime Shipping Foundation, the venture behind the transaction.

This also means that there could be ways to bypass U.S. sanctions against various countries; but that is a matter that can be discussed in another article. 

The latest thing that amazed me amid the bitcoinmania is a conversation I had with a taxi driver who told me that he sold all of his and his wife’s golds to buy bitcoin. I don’t know how he explained to his wife the latest plunge in the value of the bitcoin. 

As anything else that is manmade, bitcoin has its uses and limitations. It is still not accepted as a currency in any of the places where regular people shop. Even if they did, the transaction time can go up to an hour and you cannot really know exactly at what price you bought or sold your bitcoin. However, the logic behind it is still strong and if enough people and stores begin accepting it as a currency, it really will be treated as such. Maybe bitcoin will totally fail but another cryptocurrency will emerge. I don’t know that, but all I know is that if you treat bitcoin investments as an easy way to make a lot of money, then you probably will lose all the money you already have. I wish that for once, as Turks, we don’t jump on the cryptocurrency bandwagon due to their popularity or for short-term gains but act responsibly knowing their benefits and shortcomings.

I would rather tell the stories of Turkish businesses that contribute to the future of cryptocurrencies rather than taxi drivers who lose their money trying to make easy fortunes in a hype that they know nothing about. It is time to realize that bitcoin, God willing or not, won’t bring any one any championships, only hard work and good strategy will do that.

Ersu Ablak, hdn, Opinion