One news after another from Turkey after Erdogan’s key changes. And the Bitcoin is not an exception. The longstanding Turkish exchange BTCTurk has come under pressure and was forces to shut down its bank accounts.
BTCTurk, established in 2013, is now trying to refund customer balances ahead of unexpected withdrawal of banking relations.
“The closure of the company’s bank accounts is due to the perception that Bitcoin trading is risky and lacks accountability,” CTO Emre Kenci told to Hürriyet, Turkish news provider.
The exchange published a statement August 19 after such move, where it is announcing that it would restore funds to customers from August 22. Nevertheless, because of the blocking of bank accounts this would take longer than usual.
“Deposits and withdrawals in Turkish lira will restart shortly, but it seems impossible that we will find a bank willing to work with BTCTurk,” the statement says. “It is unethical for our company to continue holding customer balances in the long term,” adding that there is no criminal investigation being carried out.
Turkey has initiated even more legislative pressure on unconventional forms of payment. Most recently, this hit PayPal, whose Turkish operation was terminated in May due to regulative issues.
“…The refusal of the local regulatory agency license application we made and the need to apply to the relevant institutions in accordance with instructions to stop our activities in Turkey does not leave us any other choice [than to stop operations in Turkey],” as the official website of PayPal says.
The exit of PayPal initially gave hope to alternative currencies and their transaction possibilities. However, the banking sector’s latest move indicates a generally hostile climate with overregulation to protect traditional finance.
“Ending the activities of BTCTurk may push many Bitcoin users underground,” Kenci stated. “Monitoring of transactions will be almost impossible in this case, and we therefore think there are opportunities for BTCTurk could continue.”
“Despite taking broad measures to protect consumers and to guard against illegal transactions, the perception [of authorities] could not be changed,” Kenci said.
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