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Turkey Will Pilot The Digital Currency In 2021

In the second half of 2021, Turkey will start piloting the previously undisclosed digital currency, Naci Ağbal, the country's chief central banker, told members of parliament on Friday.

Ağbal’s unexpected statements placed Turkey on the fast track for a digital currency central bank (CBDC). Any digital currency aims are barely disclosed in Turkey; the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), known in monetary circles as the “central bank bank,” does not even report Turkey in its operating database as having an active CBDC project.

But Turkey is now angling to overtake several CBDC projects that are best known. While, according to the BIS, 80% of central banks accept CBDC, only a handful (Sweden, China, the Bahamas) have advanced to pilot phase/soft launch. 

At the very most, the specifics of Turkey’s own CBDC project are murky.In September, local crypto outlet Koin Bülteni announced that the central bank was recruiting experts for its research and development team for digital currency.  Turkish-language media widely quoted him as follows: “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.”

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