Turkish finance ministry says following cryptocurrencies closely amid global concerns

The Turkish Ministry of Treasury and Finance on Monday announced that it is closely following cryptocurrencies amid concerns over the volatility of the emerging financial technology.

Finance ministry officials are cooperating with the central bank, the Turkish Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) and the Capital Markets Board (SPK), among other institutions, on the matter and closely monitoring global developments, the ministry said in a press release issued on Monday.

The announcement arrives as the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, rocketed to more than 60 pct its value over the past month, only to crash twice in an ongoing roller-coaster ride.

Analysts and investors are voicing their scepticism over what they call a patchily-regulated and highly volatile digital asset, as governments and financial regulators call for tighter regulation of the investment.

According to data from Turkish customer service-complaint aggregator website Şikayet Var, Turkey has seen an over 8000 percent increase in complaints regarding crypto currencies in Feb. 2021 compared to the same time last year.

Turkey has the highest proportion of cryptocurrency users in the world, likely due to a currency crisis that peaked in August 2018, leading to Turkish lira losses of 28 percent against the dollar that year, and which saw the lira sliding more than 10 percent against the dollar in 2019.