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.
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