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As a result of the reflection of advancements in technology on banking, the Central Bank of the Republic of Türkiye’s (the “CBRT”) published the Digital Turkish Lira First Phase Evaluation Report (the “Report”) at the end of 2023.

Some of the evaluations in the first phase studies of the Digital Turkish Lira, which is stated in the Report to have a different characteristic than crypto assets, are as follows:

–  Data security in the context of ensuring user privacy

–  Authorization of users to use multiple accounts to meet legal requirements

–  User identification through intermediary institutions to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing

Future phases are planned to cover (i) conversions between Turkish Lira forms, (ii) smart payments, (iii) offline payments, and (iv) legal and economic aspects; as explained below:

(i) The conversion of Turkish lira forms will be possible through the conversion of deposits in banks into Digital Turkish Lira and Digital Turkish Lira into deposits.

(ii) Smart payments will be made at the desired transfer amount and time according to the fulfillment of the conditions that users will set in advance, and a conditional payment system will be fictionalized.

(iii) Digital Turkish Lira will be available for offline payments where the Internet is not (easily) accessible (e.g. rural or disaster areas).

(iv) A number of questions on the legal and economic aspects of the Digital Turkish Lira, which are planned to be studied in the following phases, have also been identified within the scope of the Report, and the questions regarding the legal aspect are given below.

Questions on the legal aspects of the Digital Turkish Lira were determined as following within the Report:

  1.  Does the Digital Turkish Lira require an additional definition?
    Which amendments to the CBRT Law are required within the scope of the Digital Turkish Lira?
  2.  What should be the legal changes regarding the Digital Turkish Lira other than the CBRT Law?
  3.  How will the personal data protection legislation be implemented in the Digital Turkish Lira system?
  4.  How will the prevention of laundering of crime and financing of terrorism be implemented in the context of the use of Digital Turkish Lira?
  5. Are additional regulations needed for the interoperability of the Digital Turkish Lira with existing payment systems and cross-border transactions?
  6. Is there a need for ownership restrictions on a digital Turkish Lira account/wallet?