An economic road map unveiled by the government of Turkey this week includes several items related to blockchain, including a bid to create a central bank digital currency based on the technology.
The Eleventh Development Plan, published on the government’s official website, was submitted to the Turkish Parliament on July 8, according to regional reports. It covers the period between 2019 and 2023, and is broadly intended to serve as a guiding point for improving Turkey’s economy.
The wide-ranging plan covers an array of subjects, but notably states that a “blockchain-based digital central bank money will be implemented,” according to a translation.
The document also indicates that legal and technology infrastructure will be fostered by the government in an effort to utilize blockchain for “transport and customs” purposes. Additionally, blockchain is mentioned as one of a number of new approaches, including artificial intelligence and connected devices — also known as the Internet of Things — that will be used to enhance public services. In this latter case, it’s not clear at this time how blockchain will be utilized.
Few details of the proposed cryptocurrency are known, but the country has been entertaining the idea of a national digital asset, Turkcoin, since at least early 2018. According to reports at the time, the idea was pitched by lawmaker Ahmet Kenan Tanrikulu, the deputy chair of Turkey’s Nationalist Movement Party and the country’s former Industry Minister.
The news that the central bank of Turkey will develop a blockchain-based currency comes days after Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, fired its governor, Murat Cetinkaya. According to the Financial Times, Erdogan said this week that the central bank will provide a greater degree of support to the economy.
Other elements of the Eleventh Development Plan, while not directly related to cryptocurrency and blockchain, could ultimately impact businesses working in those areas.
For example, the government plans to introduce a Regulatory Experiment Area, an Association of Payment Services and Electronic Money Institutions, and the Istanbul Finance and Technology Base. Turkish banks have long partnered with crypto exchanges, though these institutions often impose strict listing and on-boarding policies.