On October 26th, CoinTR, a global cryptocurrency exchange based in Istanbul, made a significant announcement. ŞAKİR ERCAN GÜL, former Deputy Minister of Finance and Treasury of Turkey, was appointed as the Chairman of the Board, with two senior officials from the Central Bank and National Bank serving as board members. ALİ EŞELİOĞLU was appointed as CEO, having just stepped down as Deputy Director of the Market Department of the Central Bank of Turkey, responsible for overseeing Turkey’s gold and foreign exchange reserves， with nearly 28 years of experience in the financial industry. Mr. Yakup DEMİR was appointed as the Compliance manager of CoinTR, previously serving as the head of the Institutional Authorization and Licensing Office of the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) of Turkey. The announcement immediately sparked heated discussions, as the “national team” consisting of executives from three major financial regulatory bodies and the national bank taking over an exchange led many media to speculate that Turkey is likely to create a state-owned exchange.
CoinTR was established in 2022 and is a globalized cryptocurrency exchange located in Istanbul, Turkey. 90% of the product’s technical team comes from the top 3 global exchanges, and its wallet team is composed of former leaders and core members of the Huobi wallet team, with strong security and technical capabilities. It is registered with the Turkish regulatory agency MASAK and has opened fiat deposit and withdrawal channels in cooperation with two Turkish national banks, Zirrat Bank and Vakif Bank, making it a compliant exchange in Turkey.
ŞAKİR ERCAN GÜL, Chairman of the Board of CoinTR, said “Due to the influence of the macroeconomic environment and the increasing interest of the public in innovative technologies, Turkey has become one of the most active countries in cryptocurrencies and Web3, with nearly ten million crypto users, making it one of the countries with the highest penetration rate of digital assets globally. From the Turkish Central Bank’s digital currency to Turkey’s first metaverse government office, the Turkish government has been actively exploring the compliant development of blockchain technology and Web3 applications over the past two years, maintaining a lenient and inclusive attitude towards the blockchain industry. CoinTR hopes to collaborate with outstanding global industry partners to help more excellent enterprises and teams enter the Turkish market, jointly promoting the development of cryptocurrencies and the Web3 field in Turkey, creating new driving forces for economic growth in Turkey, and establishing Istanbul as a digital economic trading hub spanning Europe and Asia.”
Additionally, Ali Eselioglu emphasized the exchange’s commitment to providing secure and stable trading services, which are backed up by a team of core product technology and wallet security experts, including the former Vice President of Huobi Group David Liu, the former Head of Platform Development for Huobi Global, alongside individuals responsible for both backend and frontend development, as well as wallet development teams. In fact, 90% of the product technology team is sourced from the top three exchanges.
Since 2018, the Turkish Lira has depreciated by approximately 80% against major currencies, drawing the attention of Turkish investors to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. In the first half of 2021, cryptocurrency trading volumes significantly increased, and cryptocurrencies began to gain popularity among the general public. After the currency crisis in December, President Erdoğan announced plans to submit cryptocurrency legislation to parliament. While the FTX incident in 2022 delayed the regulatory process, regulations and legislation related to cryptocurrencies have remained a prominent part of Turkey’s economic agenda. The entry of national-level figures into the crypto industry is seen as a positive signal from the Turkish government, indicating its commitment to continued development and openness.
Turkey, serving as a bridge between Europe and Asia and radiating into the Middle East, plays a crucial strategic role in the development of the cryptocurrency industry. It is expected that Turkey may become the world’s largest digital currency trading hub after Singapore and Hong Kong in the near future, to show the power of Turkish crypto.
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