Even though Bitcoin was considered un-Islamic by the country’s religious authority, it appears that the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), in tandem with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), are in support of a national cryptocurrency.
As reported by Al-Monitor, Ahmet Kenan Tanrikulu, the MHP deputy chair has presented a proposal for a “national Bitcoin” – “Turkcoin”.
The former minister supported a move towards the new technology and cited the growing demand for digital currencies as a factor the country’s government cannot afford to ignore.
“The world is advancing toward a new digital system. Turkey should create its own digital system and currency before it’s too late.
We need to create the infrastructure for the blockchain database. There are nearly 1,400 digital currencies in the world today and many countries are using them. We, too, can create a digital currency, based on companies in the Wealth Fund. 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.
Acknowledging that digital currencies present unique challenges for law enforcement, Tanrikulu conceded that regulations are obviously required and the illegal use of these currencies must be prevented.
However, since the Turkish Penal Code does not include any prohibitions on the use of digital currencies, Tanrikulu noted that the buying, selling and use of cryptocurrencies in the country is not illegal. His report also advised the government to introduce measures and instruments which would allow the generation of revenues from the booming cryptocurrency market.
Turkey’s Finance Ministry and Capital Markets Board is reportedly working on regulations and rules for digital currencies in order to tax them and earlier this month, the Deputy Prime Minister, Mehmet Simsek, also shared the government’s intent to create its own digital currency.
Given how the digital currency mania has raised a storm, it makes sense for countries to consider launching their own currencies since the underlying technology, blockchain, is the core feature and can be implemented by anyone in order to create a digital ledger capable of recording balances and transactions.