Turkey central bank turns to local tech sector for CBDC research

Turkey central bank turns to local tech sector for CBDC research

The Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) has drafted several local technology firms to help develop a platform for its digital Turkish lira, according to press reports.

The central bank has already signed agreements with firms to help develop the technology, in what has been seen as a significant step forward for the plans that could ultimately see a central bank digital currency in circulation within the country.

Three domestic partners were identified and invited to sign a memorandum of understanding with the bank, with a view to develop the “Digital Turkish Lira Collaboration Platform.” The pool of developers participating in the program is expected to increase over the months ahead, with the central bank thought to be keen to call on a wide range of expertise.

The three initial partners are defense firm Aselsan, IT and defense giant Havelsan and TÜBİTAK Informatics, and Information Security Research Center.

While there is little detail available for now about the technologies that will underpin the project, it is expected to be built on a blockchain-powered platform, as well as embrace distributed ledgers in payment systems.

However, notably, the central bank stopped short of a commitment to roll out the eventual digital currency, saying that it “has made no final decision regarding the issuance of the digital Turkish lira.”

Trials are expected to run until some time in 2022, when it will be assessed to determine whether the technology is sufficiently robust to be implemented more widely across the Turkish economy.

The move comes at a time of increasing interest in central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) from central banks worldwide, including China, the United States, Europe and beyond, with numerous countries in the process of developing their own CBDC solutions.

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