Turkey has unveiled a new economic plan that includes the use of blockchain technology, as well as the creation of a central bank digital currency.
The Eleventh Development Plan, which was submitted to the Turkish Parliament and covers the period between 2019 and 2023, aims to boost Turkey’s economy. It includes a variety of subjects, including that a “blockchain-based digital central bank money will be implemented,” according to CoinDesk.
The plan reveals that the legal and technology infrastructure will be supported by the government to utilize blockchain for “transport and customs” purposes. While there aren’t many details about the potential crypto, the country has reportedly been working on its own digital currency, Turkcoin, since last year.
In addition to blockchain, artificial intelligence and connected devices will also be used to boost public services. The plan also details how the government has plans to launch a Regulatory Experiment Area, an Association of Payment Services and Electronic Money Institutions, and the Istanbul Finance and Technology Base in an effort to help Turkey’s economy.
The crypto news comes as there has been a push to eliminate cash in Turkey. However, the currency doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon. In fact, there are still many instances where consumers prefer cash, according to Dr. Soner Canko, CEO of Turkish bank consortium Bankalararasi Kart Merkezi (BKM), or the Interbank Card Center. PYMNTS spoke with Canko last year, and he admitted that while Turkey has made progress in its efforts to phase out cash, cash still plays a strong role in the nation’s economy.
“People use cash mostly for micropayments. … If they buy a newspaper [or a] magazine, [or] for taxi payments, open bazaars or fresh markets,” Canko said.
And while the average amount spent on these purchases may be small, but consumers might make several of these transactions every day.
“Cash usage is also very popular for the unbanked population; for example, people in rural areas [who] work as farmers. They always prefer [to use] cash because they’re living in a shadow economy, in a gray economy,” said Canko.