Days after South American nation Venezuela launched its government-approved ‘petro’ cryptocurrency, Turkey now claims that it is considering introducing a proprietary digital currency called Turkcoin.
In November 2017 Turkey’s Directorate on Religious Affairs condemned virtual currencies as un-Islamic because they cannot be audited and surveilled, declaring that the use of bitcoins and the like encouraged illegal activities such as money laundering.
But now Turkey has seen the writing on the wall, and is contemplating its own national cryptocurrency. According to a report by the Al-Monitor news agency, Ahmet Kenan Tanrikulu, deputy chairman of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), has prepared a report to propose a state-sponsored cryptocurrency called Turkcoin.
“The world is advancing toward a new digital system. Turkey should create its own digital system and currency before it’s too late,” he warned, cited by Al-Monitor.
“Since the demand exists, we should create and release our own digital currency. Opposing those currencies is meaningless. This is a national issue which requires a national consensus,” he said.
It appears that both MHP, the country’s fourth largest political party, and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), are in support of a national cryptocurrency — Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek recently hinted that the country may be making preparations for the development of a national cryptocurrency.
“We are planning to start our own work on digital currencies. We place high importance on digitalization,” he said an interview with CNN earlier this month.
Admitting that Turkey cannot afford to ignore a growing demand for the new technology, Tanrikulu pointed out that with the implementation of cryptocurrencies, law enforcement will face unique challenges.
New regulations will be required to prevent the improper use of these currencies, he said, adding that the MHP would back any legislation aimed at the regulation and taxation of cryptocurrencies.
Turkey’s Finance Ministry and Capital Markets Board are reportedly already working on regulations and rules governing digital currencies with a view toward taxation.