Turkey’s central bank is reportedly looking to finalize testing protocols for its proposed national digital currency. With economic struggles worsening in the country, the move might signal an attempt by the government to gain a foothold in the emerging digital landscape. Meanwhile, bitcoin adoption continues to grow in the country exceeding average ownership statistics in other countries in Europe.
Central Bank to Conclude Digital Lira Testing by 2020
According to the Asia Times, Turkey’s central bank is set to finish final testing on a digital lira currency by 2020. These testing protocols will also reportedly include the finetuning of instant payment gateways that will utilize the digital currency.
The move by the Turkish government is part of plans to stabilize the economy. Earlier in the year, the President Erdogan administration included the digital lira plans in its four-year economic recovery plan.
An excerpt from a document released by Resmi Gazete — Turkey’s official national publication reads:
“The main objective is to establish a financial sector with a strong institutional structure that can respond to the financing needs of the real sector at a low cost, offer different financial instruments to a wide investor base through reliable institutions and support Istanbul’s goal of becoming an attractive global financial center.”
When launched, the digital lira will be entering a financial landscape already dominated by forex and bitcoin. As previously reported by BTCManager, bitcoin has in recent times become almost as popular as foreign currencies.
With forex becoming increasingly difficult to obtain, many citizens have looked to bitcoin as a way of preserving their wealth from the continued fall of the country’s fiat. Turkey also reportedly leads bitcoin ownership in Europe according to a couple of industry surveys.
CBDC Bandwagon Movement Gathering Momentum
The announcement of digital currency trials puts Turkey into the league of nations reportedly looking to launch their central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). Commenting on the matter, crypto commentator Rhythm posted a tweet on Tuesday, declaring:
“Within a decade, governments went from laughing at the idea of bitcoin to trying to imitate it as their reserve currency. It makes you wonder what the next few years will bring.”
Reports suggest that China is also close to launching a digital RMB with its central bank conducting studies on the possibility. Meanwhile, stakeholders in the European Union (EU) say the European Central Bank (ECB) should adopt such plans or risk the region falling behind the likes of China in the emerging digital economy.