CBRT Conducts First Payment Transactions on Digital Turkish Lira Network

• The Central Bank of Turkey (CBRT) has conducted its first payment transactions on the test network of the digital lira.
• The monetary authority intends to proceed with more testing in 2023 and plans to invite banks and fintech companies to join the trials.
• The CBRT has highlighted that examination of the legal aspects of the CBDC has shown that digital identification is of critical importance for the project.

The Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) has made progress in its digital currency project, announcing on Thursday that it has successfully carried out the first payment transactions on the Digital Turkish Lira Network. The operations were executed as part of studies during the first phase of the CBDC project.

The CBRT also said it will continue to perform pilot tests with technology stakeholders in the first quarter of next year, on a limited scale and in a closed-circuit environment. The findings from these tests will be revealed to the public in a comprehensive evaluation report, it promised.

The Turkish central bank intends to expand the collaboration platform for the digital lira in 2023. Selected banks and financial technology companies will be invited to join the trials and advanced phases of the pilot study unveiled to further widen participation. The regulator will continue to run tests for authentic architectural setups designed in areas such as the use of distributed ledger technologies in payment systems and the integration of these technologies with instant payment systems.

In addition, the CBRT has highlighted that examination of the legal aspects of the CBDC has shown that digital identification is of critical importance for the project. For this reason, the CBRT intends to prioritize studies on the use of digital identity systems. It will also focus on the development of the infrastructure and the institutions that will ensure the secure operation of the digital lira.

The Central Bank of Turkey’s project is part of a wider trend in which other countries are exploring the potential of a central bank digital currency. CBDCs offer a range of benefits, such as greater financial inclusion, improved cost efficiency, and faster transaction times.

Overall, the CBRT’s progress in its Digital Turkish Lira Network is an encouraging sign for the potential of a CBDC. The regulator is now looking to continue testing in 2023 and invite banks and fintech companies to join the trials. It is also focusing on the development of the infrastructure and the institutions that will ensure the secure operation of the digital lira.