Turkish Central Bank Governor Hopeful of CBDC Pilot in 2021

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Turkey and Russia continue to inch closer to CBDC ambitions.

Turkey Set to Pilot CBDC in 2021 Second Half

According to a Coindesk report published on Dec 26, Turkey is poised to begin piloting a previously undisclosed digital currency in the second half of 2021. Turkey’s chief central banker Naci Agbal told this to the members of the parliament on Friday.

Per sources close to the matter, Agbal was quoted:

“There is an R&D project initiated on digital money. Currently, the conceptual phase of this project has been completed. We aim to start pilot tests in the second half of 2021.”

Indeed, Agbal’s comments came off as a bit surprising and have now put Turkey among the handful of countries that are already in advanced stages of central bank digital currency (CBDC) experimentation.

It is also worth noting that The Bank for International Settlements (BIS), also called the “bank for central banks” in monetary circles does not have any record of Turkey as having any kind of ongoing CBDC project in its database.

According to the BIS, despite close to 80% of central banks currently considering launching a CBDC in the near future, only a handful – Sweden, Japan, China, the Bahamas – have actually taken major steps toward launching a full-functional sovereign digital currency.

Russian Central Bank Sees Potential in CBDC

Meanwhile, Russia Today quoted an official from the Central Bank of Russia saying that digital currencies may challenge and someday could even make the SWIFT global banking payment system redundant.

Considering the rapid pace of development of CBDCs the world over, several countries may launch their own CBDCs in the next 5-7 years, First Deputy Governor Olga Skorobogatova said.

“Then we can deal with direct integration issues. In this case SWIFT it may not be necessary, because it will be a different kind of technological interaction,” Skorobogatova noted.

For the uninitiated, SWIFT is a messaging network used by banks and financial institutions across the world where confidential information is transmitted via codes. The network enables cross-border payments along with a wide array of other services between over 10,000 financial institutions in countries across the world.

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