The regulator said in a statement published in the Official Gazette that cryptocurrencies and other such digital assets based on distributed ledger technology could not be used, either directly or indirectly, as an instrument of payment.
“Payment service providers will not be able to develop business models in a way that crypto assets are used directly or indirectly in the provision of payment services and electronic money issuance, and will not be able to provide any services related to such business models,” the CBRT said.
The bank added that crypto assets were “neither subject to any regulation and supervision mechanisms nor a central regulatory authority,” among other security risks. The CBRT also said they could lead to ‘irreparable’ possible damages.
“It is considered that their use in payments may cause non-recoverable losses for the parties to the transactions due to the above-listed factors, and they include elements that may undermine the confidence in methods and instruments used currently in payments.”
Investors in Turkey have lately been turning to cryptocurrencies in their droves, to both gain from bitcoin’s rally and shelter against inflation.
Last week, the Turkish authorities demanded user information from trading platforms.
In March, inflation in the country reached a six-month high of 16.19% – well above the 5% target set by the government – and the Turkish lira slumped dramatically, after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s decision to fire the country’s central bank governor. He was the third to have been sacked in two years.