The government of Turkey published its 2019–2023 economic roadmap on July 9 and notably it includes a plan to central bank-issued digital currency.
As per the 11th Development Plan from the Presidency of the Turkish Republic, “Blockchain-based digital central bank money will be implemented.” The development plan further includes a list of blockchain adoption in the operations of transportation and customs, noting that public services and administration could improve through the emerging technologies such as big data, artificial intelligence and blockchain.
Fuat Oktay, the Vice President Turkey presented the plan to the parliament’s Planning and Budget Commission adding that “We will attach importance to our energy and development policies during the period of the development plan.” A report by Al-Monitor in early 2018 indicated that Turkey has been considering issuing a national cryptocurrency for some time.
According to an interview in February 2018, economist and then-Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said:
“We are planning to start our own work on digital currencies. We place high importance on digitalization.”
However, some members of the government remains skeptical toward cryptocurrencies at large, wherein several ministers compare such projects to pyramid schemes.
In late June, a paper from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts that central banks would start issuing digital currencies in the near future. Citing a central bank digital currency pilot program in Uruguay as precedent, IMF noted a number of projects that are close to testing hailing from Bahamas, China, Eastern Caribbean Currency Union, Sweden and Ukraine.
In addition, a Statistica’s Global Consumer Survey for 2019 suggests that around 20% of Turkey’s residents are cryptocurrency investors. According to the survey, Turkey had the highest per capita rate of cryptocurrency ownership among the surveyed countries.
A number of blockchain-based infrastructure initiatives have been in progress across the globe. For instance, the mayor of Seoul, South Korea, announced in May that the government would implement blockchain technology in its citizen ID cards.
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