It seems that after initial coin offerings (ICOs) in 2017, country operated cryptocurrencies are the trend to watch this year.

After Venezuela’s rather controversial launch of its own cryptocurrency, it seemed less than a suitable time for another nation to think similar plans out loud. However, that did not stop one of Turkey’s high-influence politicians, Ahmet Kenan Tanrikulu, from proposing the idea of launching the nation’s own cryptocurrency.

Tanrikulu, a former Industry Minister and deputy chair of its Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), talked along his party’s stance of favoring the functions of cryptocurrencies during a session with a local news source and mentioned the idea of “Turkcoin,” a proposed cryptocurrency that could be launched by the country.

This is an interesting take on the subject because while the MHP is the de facto partner of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), its stance goes differently than its partner.

AKP had mentioned last year that Turkish nationals should be wary of cryptocurrencies due to their ambiguous and speculative nature, and did not embrace the cryptocurrency fever that had been taking the world by storm especially by the last quarter of 2017.

However, it seems that crypto fever did get to government avenues, only through MHP.

Tanrikulu has drafted a 22-page report for the stakeholders, which share detailed findings and suggestions for cryptocurrencies within the country. Some of them are being covered below.

How will the proposed currency function?

In his report, Tanrikulu mentions that the Turkcoin could be an asset-backed security rather than a speculative coin, where it would be backed by large public assets from the country’s Wealth Fund, the likes of Turkish Airlines, Turk Telecom, and the National Lottery. The report further mentions that these companies would serve as the cryptocurrency’s “insurance policy.”

As per Tanrikulu, this would ensure minimal fluctuation in value and would allow people to trust the value of their investment further as compared to regular cryptocurrencies, which are rarely created as asset-backed securities.

Regulations are being proposed

In the report, Tanrikulu details his party’s stance on not ignoring cryptocurrencies or staying away from them, but to watch them closely while drafting and imposing relevant regulations on them so they could grow in the country within a controlled environment and under the watch of the authorities.

He also mentioned that there is a dire need of regulating cryptocurrencies, because if the government turns a blind eye to them, then it would not help in preventing their usage in illicit and illegal activities, as the country’s current law has a loophole where trading in cryptocurrencies does not fall under criminal activities until they are directly linked to such actions.

Tanrikulu proposed that instead of putting a stop to a market that is bound to grow in the next few years, the government could benefit from it after implementing relevant regulations to prevent any possible misuse, while also ensuring to take advantage of the positive aspects.

Why stop at regulating or even creating a cryptocurrency?

For this, the report mentions the idea of starting a government-watched Bitcoin exchange, which could be started after the regulations have been drafted and implemented, and would allow the government to benefit from the trading capital.

A section of the report reads:

“The introduction of encouraging regulations after assessing all kinds of risks would enable us to generate revenues from the cryptocurrency market, especially from bitcoin. In this context, the country needs a bitcoin bourse and legislation to regulate this realm.” 

Blockchain is integral to future success

Since almost everyone seems to agree on the potential of blockchain and its benefits despite their views on cryptocurrency, it is no wonder that Tanrikulu thinks positively of the technology and encourages to embrace it.

In his report, he mentions that if Turkey does not set aside time to study this digital innovation and learn more about it, then it is not going to be beneficial for the country in the future.

How soon are these suggestions and findings going to be Implemented?

The report and its suggestions and findings have a long way to go before they can be implemented; however, Tanrikulu is going to initiate the process through his party and then bring the discussion to the government floor soon.

It would remain to be seen how the AKP, with its previous stance on cryptocurrencies, embraces the report.

It would certainly be an interesting development to say the least, not just for the sake of it, but because how a country as influential as Turkey could provide benefits to the cryptocurrency industry within its region if it embraces it.