Garanti BBVA has announced that it is the first and only private bank to join Turkey’s digital asset blockchain network. The BiGA Digital Asset Transform Platform was developed by Istanbul Clearing, Settlement and Custody Bank (Takasbank), and was officially launched just before the New Year.
Digitizing Gold and Physical Assets on the Blockchain
Garanti BBVA carried out the first blockchain transfers of the cryptocurrency BiGA, with the other participating banks. These being state lenders Ziraat and Vakif, and three private and state participation banks.
One unit of BiGA represents one gram of gold, which is physically stored in the vaults of the Istanbul stock exchange. The platform allows digitized assets such as gold to be transferred in real-time, 24/7.
There are three key transactions: issuance, repayment and transfer. The system also features integration with the Gold Transfer System, clearing authorization, and monitoring and reporting tools.
Takasbank is currently working on a system to incorporate other physical commodities into a blockchain-based digital asset transfer system.
Crypto In Turkey
Cryptocurrency, and especially Bitcoin, is very popular in Turkey, with a falling fiat currency and capital controls imposed on foreign exchange.
As Bitcoinist reported, Bitcoin prices are boldly displayed alongside other ForEx rates on digital billboards in Istanbul. ‘Bitcoin Family’ father, Didi Taihuttu, tweeted his discovery as the family travelled through Istanbul.
According to Huobi, the Turkish Lira is the fifth biggest fiat on-ramp for crypto in the world. A fact which prompted the cryptocurrency exchange to get in on the action and become the first international player to start trading Lira/Tether pairs.
Turkey is also one of the many countries looking to issue its own Central Bank Digitized Currency (CBDC) in the near future.
The digital Lira may even launch at some point this year, as the concept was mentioned in the Turkish President Recep Erdogan’s Presidential program for 2020.
What do you make of this latest development? Add your thoughts below!
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