Turkey Bans the Use of Cryptocurrencies for Payments

The regulation comes into effect on Apr. 30.

Shutterstock cover by Repina Valeriya

Key Takeaways

  • Turkey’s central bank is banning the use of cryptocurrencies for payments.
  • The bank has cited crypto’s lack of regulation, price volatility, and use in illegal activities in a list of reasons for the ban.
  • Interest in Bitcoin had risen in Turkey recently amid a fall in the value of the lira.

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Turkey takes aim at the cryptocurrency space. 

Turkey Banning Crypto Payments 

Using cryptocurrencies for payments will be banned from Apr. 30, the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) has announced

The bank has introduced the “Regulation on the Disuse of Crypto Assets in Payments” to enforce the ban. An article published by the Turkish government’s official newspaper says: 

“The purpose of this regulation is not to use crypto assets in payments, not to use crypto assets directly or indirectly in the provision of payment services and electronic money issuance, and payment and electronic money institutions to platforms that offer trading, custody, transfer or issuance services for crypto assets or it is the determination of the procedures and principles regarding not mediating the fund transfers from these platforms.”

Businesses will be blocked from building products that use crypto assets for payment services and integrating crypto trading and custodial platforms. 

In a press release, the central bank said that the ban had been introduced because crypto assets are not regulated or supervised, their prices can be volatile, they may be used in illegal activities, wallets can be stolen, and transactions are irreversible. Authorities have long pointed to crypto’s alleged use in illegal activities as a reason to be cautious of the space—CBE’s Christine Lagarde has used similar arguments in discussions about cryptocurrencies recently. 

The move comes as the Central Bank’s own currency, the lira, faces trouble.

The lira has fallen in value in recent months, spurring some Turkish citizens to adopt cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Though the ban is one of the world’s harshest stances against crypto so far, it won’t totally block citizens from gaining exposure to Bitcoin and other assets: they’ll still be permitted to trade on exchanges. 

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