The regulatory group Sermaye Piyasası Kurulu (SPK) in Turkey is planning to announce a framework for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and regulate them before the end of 2020. This move comes due to pressure from public institutions and the local government. Turkish newspaper Hürriyet reported this over the weekend.
Details about the regulatory framework have not yet been made public. The SPK will likely focus on the surveillance, regulation and audit of Bitcoin. At the moment Turkey doesn’t have a fixed law governing cryptocurrency usage in the country.
Recent research by the Turkish division of ING Bank suggests that 45 percent of the Turkish people believe in a future with digital currencies. In Europe this number is much lower with 25 percent. Older reports suggest that 20 percent of Turkey’s citizen own or have owned at least one cryptocurrency.
Turkey introducing digital lira
Regulating cryptocurrencies will be a priority for the Turkish government, as the country is also looking to introduce a digital lira. Their initial tests for a digital national currency will finish by the end of 2020. The central bank digital currency is part of the governments plans to strengthen the local economy. In addition the government of Turkey will develop a software platform for instant payments using the digital lira. They will work together with the central bank, while the project will also involve the national innovation agency TUBITAK.
To regulate cryptocurrency will benefit the Turkish government with the legal implementation of a legal national currency. In addition it will help that gain more control over existing and upcoming efforts in the world of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
Strong focus on blockchain
The inclusion of a central bank digital currency in the 2020 Annual Presidential Program of Turkey is the result of a blockchain-focused economic road map. Besides a digital lira the country is implementing blockchain technology in the transport sector and customs as well as in public services and government administration.
Blockchain innovation doesn’t only happen within the Turkish government. Turkish businesses, banks and its people are interested in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Last week Turkish Takasbank launched a blockchain platform for trading gold. Banks store the gold, while investors use the blockchain to trade. Ownership of the gold pieces is therefore determined by data on the blockchain.
Also published on Medium.