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Bitcoin Exchange BTCTürk Halts Operations in Turkey

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:50 PM
Samburaj Das
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:50 PM

Turkish bitcoin exchange BTCTürk, operational since 2013 has been forced to cease its operations in Turkey after failing to find support from local banks, the last of whom terminated BTCTürk’s banking account.

Turkey’s sole bitcoin exchange, BTCTürk, has revealed that it is left with no choice but to stop operations in the country after failure to find a banking partner willing to work with the bitcoin exchange.

In an announcement on its blog, BTCTürk revealed “problematic” relationships with most banks since its early days, despite the exchange’s track record on legal compliance. The exchange also stated that it adhered to “numerous” law enforcement investigations.

In a blog post  on August 17, 2016, BTCTürk announced that it had stopped deposits while assuring customers that withdrawals of Turkish liras from the platform are active and are being processed.

Two days later, a follow-up post revealed that “it seems impossible” to find a bank that would agree to work with the exchange. As a result, the exchange has removed all withdrawal limits on its one-time payout structure, enabling customers to withdraw their balances entirely from the exchange. To transfer the account balance in its entirety, the exchange recommends users put forth a withdrawal order to withdraw and clear their balances.

Notably, bitcoin operations and balances remain unaffected, allowing users to retain their BTC with the exchange or transfer it elsewhere if they wish to do so.

While BTCTürk currently faces an uncertain future, the exchange experienced its best trading volumes in recent times following the closure of PayPal in Turkey. In early June 2016, PayPal suspended its operations  in Turkey after the country’s financial regulators rejected the payment giant’s license applications. The reason, regulators claimed, is due to the setup PayPal’s IT infrastructure outside the country and not within Turkey. As a result, BTCTürk saw some 5000 BTC, roughly just under $3 million at the time in total trading volume, a record trading volume for the exchange in 2016.

BTCTürk further insisted that its website will remain open despite the uncertain times it currently faces. Furthermore, it hopes to re-enable its operations in the future, although underlining that it had no estimate on when that would happen. Additionally, the exchange made it clear that it was under no investigation nor legal action from authorities or regulators alike.

A representative for BTCTürk wasn’t immediately available at the time of publishing.

Featured image from Shutterstock.