Turkey and Iran join national cryptocurrency bandwagon

The surge in popularity of cryptocurrencies across the globe has led nations to think of launching their own national cryptos in a bid to put a stop to their citizens investing in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Many countries including Venezuela have been mulling over launching national cryptocurrencies. The latest to join this list are Iran and Turkey who have indicated they are mulling over the possibility of launching their own national cryptocurrencies respectively.

The Bank of England has also considered doing something similar in 2016, but following recent comments by Mark Carney, that appears unlikely to go anywhere for now. Singapore has arguably gone further and has actually completed two phases of a pilot to tokenize their dollar through the ethereum blockchain. They claimed a number of savings and efficiency gains, so we’ll have to wait and see how that goes.

According to reports in the local newspapers covering Middle East finance, Ahmet Kenan Tanrikulu, former Industry Minister and the deputy chair of Erdogan’s coalition partners the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), has placed crypto on the agenda in Turkey with a 22 pages report on the matter.

According to the local media, he has put forward the report wherein he has called for creation of infrastructure for the blockchain database. Citing the existence of over 1,000 cryptocurrencies, he said that the country can create a digital currency, based on companies in the Wealth Fund. Opposing cryptocurrencies is meaningless considering the huge demand for such digital assets.

“This is a national issue which requires a national consensus”, he stated in the report. More widely, the report argues for the regulation and taxation of cryptocurrencies, rather than their dismissal, because according to Tanrikulu, Turkish citizens are using digital currencies like bitcoin and ethereum.

The proposal seems to suggest creating a crypto backed by the assets of Turkish businesses, such as their stock exchange, to address volatility.

Iran’s IT minister, MJ Azari Jahromi, recently met with state owned Post Bank of Iran. He said that in the meeting they discussed about digital currency-based blockchains as a necessary measure for the pilot implementation of the country’s first digital currency.

“A pilot model for review and approval will be presented to the banking system of the country”, he said according to reports in the Iranian media.

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