Skip to content

First Tests of Digital Turkish Lira from Turkey

The Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) has completed its first trial of the Digital Turkish Lira, a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

The Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT)
The Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT)

In a statement released on December 29, the CBRT announced that it had successfully executed its "first payment transactions" using digital currency. The CBRT plans to continue testing the Digital Turkish Lira throughout 2023, starting with limited, closed-circuit pilot tests in the first quarter with technology stakeholders.

The CBRT will expand its testing to include selected banks and financial technology companies during the rest of the year. The CBRT will share the results of these tests through a "comprehensive evaluation report" and will unveil different phases of the study that will widen participation.

In addition to testing the use of distributed ledger technologies in payment systems and their integration with instant payment systems, the CBRT will also study the legal aspects of the Digital Turkish Lira. This includes the economic and legal framework around digital identification and the technological requirements for the CBDC. Other countries, such as the United Kingdom, Kazakhstan, and Australia, are also exploring the possibility of introducing CBDCs. In contrast, the Kazakhstan central bank has recommended the introduction of an in-house CBDC as early as 2023 with a phased implementation over three years. The Reserve Bank of Australia has expressed hesitation about its own CBDC plans, with assistant governor Brad Jones warning that a CBDC could displace the Australian dollar and lead people to avoid commercial banks entirely.