As the Central Bank of Turkey tightens its regulatory grip on crypto citing alarming outflow of capital due to cryptocurrencies, more exchanges shut down.
Less than a week after the Central Bank of Turkey announced the banning of cryptocurrencies for payments, the country has witnessed the systematic shut down of cryptocurrency exchanges. Turkey’s cryptocurrency investors were dealt another blow after a second big exchange collapsed. Following the alleged flee of Thodex Crypto exchange founder and the shutting down of its operations, cryptocurrency exchange Vebitcoin said it would halt operations, citing deteriorating financial conditions. Turkey’s Financial Crimes Investigation Board said it has blocked the company’s accounts and opened an investigation against Vebitcoin and its executives.
Vebitcoin is Turkey’s fourth biggest exchange with close to $60 million in daily volumes, according to CoinGecko.com which tracks data on price, volume and market value on crypto markets. More than half of this volume came from Bitcoin, which dropped 19% this week, heading for its worst week in almost two months.
The two exchanges were part of the cryptocurrency boom that has drawn in legions of Turks seeking to protect their savings from rampant inflation and an unstable currency. Inflation hit 16.2% in March, more than three times the central bank’s target, and the lira has weakened more than 10% against the dollar this year – its ninth consecutive year of losses.
The daily volume of trade in Turkish crypto markets was close to $2 billion for Friday, according to data from CoinGecko.com. The boom has drawn attention from regulators.
Central Bank chief Sahap Kavcioglu said more regulations are in the pipeline in a televised interview on Friday. “We are working on regulations in terms of cryptocurrency,” he said. “There are disturbing money outflows to outside of Turkey via cryptocurrencies.”