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Turkey’s Central Bank Completes First CBDC Test with More to Come in 2023

Following the completion of its first payment transactions using a CBDC, the central bank plans to conduct additional tests throughout 2023.

The Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) has completed the first trial of its central bank digital currency (CBDC), the Digital Turkish Lira, and has indicated that testing will continue until 2023.

According to a CBRT statement issued on December 29, the central bank authority successfully completed its “first payment transactions” using the digital Lira.

It stated that it will continue to conduct limited, closed-circuit pilot tests with technology stakeholders in the first quarter of 2023 before expanding to include selected banks and financial technology companies for the remainder of the year.

It stated that the results of these tests will be shared with the public via a “comprehensive evaluation report” before revealing more about the next phases of the study, which will broaden participation even further.

The Turkish central bank first announced in September 2021 that it would investigate the benefits of introducing a digital Turkish Lira in a research project called “Central Bank Digital Turkish Lira Research and Development.”

The government made no commitment to the eventual digitalization of the country’s currency at the time, stating that it had “made no final decision regarding the issuance of the digital Turkish lira.”

The CBRT stated in its most recent statement that it will continue to test the use of distributed ledger technologies in payment systems as well as their “integration” with instant payment systems.

It will also prioritize researching legal aspects of the digital Turkish Lira, such as the “economic” and “legal framework” surrounding digital identification, as well as its technological requirements.

Several countries, including the United Kingdom and Kazakhstan, have recently begun testing digital currencies issued by central banks.

The Bank of England has opened applications for a proof of concept for a CBDC wallet, while Kazakhstan’s central bank has proposed introducing an in-house CBDC as early as 2023, with a three-year phased implementation.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) recently expressed concern about its own CBDC plans, with assistant governor Brad Jones warning in a speech on December 8 that a CBDC could displace the Australian dollar and cause people to avoid commercial banks entirely.


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