Since 2020, Turkey has had a high rate of cryptocurrency. Statistics have shown that the country has one of the highest exposures to cryptocurrencies worldwide. Surveys have shown that about 16% of Turkish citizens have ever used or owned cryptocurrencies. The reason for this high volume can be attributed to the unregulated environment, which has been thriving for years. Subsequently, Turkey became famous as a pro-cryptocurrency country.
Unfortunately, this boom cryptocurrency would eventually meet with a long hand of the state.
Turkey announces campaign against cryptocurrencies
Like many around the world, Turkish citizens have also flocked to invest in BTC and have longed to make money on the bull run of cryptocurrency last year. At the same time, they hope to protect themselves from inflation.
This year, an unregulated crypto market in Turkey has undergone closer scrutiny. The government has begun to tighten restrictions. In March, the Turkish Ministry of Finance expressed concerns about cryptocurrencies. It also announced cooperation with several local regulators.
In April, the government announced legislation banning the use of cryptocurrencies as payments for goods and services. The ban took effect on April 30. In a statement explaining the reasons, the central bank stated that cryptocurrency transactions posed “irrevocable” risks. Crypto assets “are not subject to any regulatory and supervisory mechanisms or to a central regulator. Their market values can be excessively volatile. “
Was also mentioned their use in “illegal transactions due to their anonymity”, but the investments were not considered illegal. So crypto exchanges in Turkey could still work. Shortly after the news of the ban on payments, local media reported on the collapse of two Turkish crypto exchanges, Thodex and Vebitcoin. As a result, many investors have suffered huge losses.
The Turkish authorities have issued an international warrant for the founder and CEO of Thodex, Farat Fatih Ozer. He allegedly fled to the Albanian capital, Tirana, with $ 2 billion in investor assets. Central Bank Governor Sahap Kavcioglu subsequently said that the Ministry of Finance was working on regulations regarding cryptocurrencies.
During Friday’s meeting, the president of Turkey said he had declared war on cryptocurrencies. It was the answer to the question of whether the central bank had opened itself up to cryptocurrencies and his views on them. Whether there will be stricter regulations or a war with its own CBDC is not yet clear, as it only added that Turkey will continue to develop its own money, which he said is part of the national identity.
The president’s comments come after the central bank announced the establishment of a “platform for cooperation on the Turkish Turkish lira” to facilitate CBDC research and development.