Turkey seems eager to become a major blockchain hub as it is considered to be a nation with one leg in Europe and the other in Asia. Nonetheless, the same passion does not apply to cryptos, as Turkish President Recep Tayyib Erdoğan insisted recently.
The president hosted a question-and-answer event in Mersin, Turkey which featured youth from across the country. One attendant referred to the Digital Turkish Lira Collaboration Platform that was announced in the past week and asked whether the central bank would embrace cryptos. He also asked President Erdoğan about his opinions on cryptocurrency. The president answered:
“We have absolutely no intention of embracing cryptocurrencies. On the contrary, we have a separate war, a separate fight against them. We would never lend support to [cryptocurrencies]. Because we will move forward with our own currency that has its own identity.”
The Turkish government’s plans for the crypto sector draw a significant contrast to its central bank digital currency (CBDC) intentions. Turkey’s former prime minister and Ak Party deputy chairperson, Binali Yıldırım, explained that cryptos need massive supervision as a result of their potential risks. He mentioned:
“It’s like a sale of a fictive future.”
Turkey first mentioned its plans for a national blockchain network in 2019. Since that time, the government, together with the local authorities have adopted a pro-blockchain stand. The government then decided to share its plans for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) with several tests planned for later this year.
The Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey made a huge step toward its CBDC targets by developing the Digital Turkish Lira Collaboration Platform in partnership with three local technology firms.
Nonetheless, the president’s latest comments on cryptos mark a potential end for Turkey’s cryptocurrency-friendly era, where many global crypto exchanges like Huobi and Binance set up operations in the nation.