Turkey to Ban the Use of Crypto for Payments; Bitcoin Falls

The measure, to go into effect April 30, comes as the use of crypto had risen due to a plunge in the price of the lira.

AccessTimeIconApr 16, 2021 at 8:52 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:41 p.m. UTC

The Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey is banning the use of cryptocurrency for payments throughout the country, becoming the latest country to seek to impose limits on it.

The price of bitcoin fell and is now at $60,868.91, down 2.69% in the last 24 hours.

According to a report by the official newspaper of the Turkish government and a press release by the central bank on Friday local time, Turkey has introduced the “Regulation on the Disuse of Crypto Assets in Payments.” The trading of cryptocurrencies appears to be unaffected by the regulation.

The ban, which is set to go into effect on April 30, follows a similar move by Morocco and a possible coming prohibition in India. It's bound to confirm concerns on the part of some about the wisdom of investing in crypto due to the the possibility of such government prohibitions.

Banning cryptocurrency payments throughout the country comes as the Turkish lira has faced significant outside selling pressure. The currency plunged in foreign exchange markets following President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s firing of the nation’s top central banker Naci Agbal in March. Many have turned to cryptocurrency as an alternative method of payment in order to circumvent the issues plaguing the lira.

The regulation specifically targets payments using cryptocurrency for goods and services as well as targeting the "provision of payment services and electronic money issuance."

Reasons given for the ban range from the government's inability to effectively monitor and control, excessive market volatility and use in illegal activity. The government also cited wallets as being vulnerable to theft while transactions that were irrevocable were a cause for concern.

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