Turkey’s central bank taps local tech companies for digital currency R&D


The Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) has taken a big step forward with a research and development project that could see the Turkish lira go digital.

On Wednesday, CBRT announced the signing of memoranda of understanding with three national research and technology companies that will form the “Digital Turkish Lira Collaboration Platform”. The pool of participants is expected to grow as the project progresses.

The original three technology players are Aselsan, a large defense firm, Havelsan, a software and systems developer operating in the defense and IT industries, and the IT and Security Research Center of the TÜBİTAK information.

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Project participants will help CBRT develop and test the prototype digital reader network. While the announcement does not clarify the technological infrastructure underlying the project, it does mention the possibility that it embraces “blockchain technology, the use of distributed ledgers in payment systems, and integration with payment systems. instant payment “at a later stage.

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Similar to the digital euro initiative, the digital book project does not commit to the ultimate digitization of Turkish currency, as the document points out that “the CBRT did not make any final decisions regarding the issuance of the digital Turkish lira ”.

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Test results are expected sometime in 2022, after which CBRT will decide whether the technology meets the standards required for further implementation.

Earlier in the summer, Turkey’s central bank banned cryptocurrency payments and limited the range of financial services available to crypto companies. The bill to establish regulatory clarity around digital assets is still awaiting a parliamentary vote.