Turkish authorities blocked all onshore bank accounts of cryptocurrency exchange platform in the country, the state-run Anadolu news agency said.
- The action late Friday came after crypto exchange Vebitcoin announced that it stopped all of its activities citing financial strains, Anadolu said.
- The Turkish Financial Crimes Investigation Board has launched an investigation of the exchange and its managers, the state-controlled agency said.
- The move against Vebitcoin comes a day after the agency reported police detained 62 people in connection with criminal complaints filed against crypto exchange Thodex.
- The Thodex crypto exchange went offline April 18 with its CEO subsequently going missing, fleeing the country according to reports. Users have reportedly filed a complaint alleging hundreds of millions of dollars have been stolen, Anadolu reported.
- April has not been a kind month to crypto in Turkey. Even before the actions against Thodex and now Vebitcoin, the Turkish central bank announced on the 16th that cryptocurrency is to be banned as a means of payment.
- The ban is being enacted at a time when crypto use was soaring 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 leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.