Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reportedly showed some openness to the use of blockchain and some aspects of cryptocurrency in a speech, following the country’s implementation of a ban on the use of crypto for payments last year and the introduction of a bill that would place other restrictions on crypto.
Speaking Friday (Oct. 21) at a Blockchain Istanbul Programme held at Istanbul University, Erdoğan said that blockchain has merits in terms of managing supply chains and intellectual property, that he wants Turkey to become a producer in the world of digital assets, and that the country aims to create its own metaverse, CoinDesk reported Friday.
“I advise our young people to take part in the change of innovations such as blockchain technology and turn to larger and more fertile channels instead of turning to crypto money gambling that has no basis,” Erdoğan said at the event, according to the report.
In January, Erdoğan said Turkey was at war with cryptocurrency amid fears of money laundering and terrorist financing through digital assets, adding that regulations governing cryptocurrency would soon be presented to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, which is the Turkish Parliament.
During the previous year, the nation’s first cryptocurrency scandal resulted in a shutdown of a Turkish crypto exchange, leaving hundreds of thousands of customers without access to their funds.
In April 2021, Turkey’s central bank banned the use of crypto for payments, citing concerns about the risk of the transactions, and in May 2021, a presidential decree added crypto trading platforms to Turkey’s list of firms covered by anti-money laundering (AML) and terrorist financing regulation.
The rules cover “crypto asset service providers,” making them liable for existing regulations.
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