Turkey’s gold-backed cryptocurrency, BiGA is now fully functional, with several financial institutions in the region, including Albaraka Turk, Kuveyt Turk, and others, already transacting with the digital asset, according to a Finextra report on January 17, 2020.
Turkish Banks Integrate BiGA
Turkey’s top lender, Istanbul Clearing, Settlement and Custody Bank (Takasban) successfully completed the beta testing of its blockchain-based tokenization and digital assets trading network in December 2019, and it also launched gold-backed crypto dubbed BiGA to be powered by the network.
Per sources close to the latest development, Turkish banks have started making active use of the gold-backed cryptocurrency to facilitate various transactions including the export, amortization and transfer of cryptoassets.
The team claims BiGA is equivalent to one gram of real gold stored in the secure vaults of the Istanbul Stock Exchange.
Presently, BiGA is only available to financial institutions, however, the project organizers have hinted that they are working hard to make the digital asset accessible to the public via mobile wallets.
Turkey’s Buzzing Blockchain and Cryptospace
Just like in a vast array of jurisdictions around the world, the Turkish cryptocurrency industry remain largely unregulated, however, Turks have maintained their massive appetite for bitcoin (BTC) and altcoins in the face of political and economic turmoil in the region.
In February 2018, Turkish football club, Harunustaspor went into the history books as the first outfit in the world to complete a player’s transfer with bitcoin (BTC).
Last July, a research report released by Ipsos, a France-based statistics firm revealed that Turkey has the highest number of cryptocurrency investors in Europe, with a whopping 18 percent of its entire 80 million population hodling bitcoin (BTC) and altcoins.
While most crypto enthusiasts, buy bitcoin for purely speculative purposes, it’s worthy of note that Turks bitcoin affinity have been largely fueled by the recent crash of the Lira against the United States dollar.
In August 2018, Paribu, turkey’s largest cryptocurrency exchange announced a 63 percent increase in its daily bitcoin trading volume, while other exchanges, including Paribu and BTC Turk, also experienced significant increases of 100 percent and 35 percent respectively.