The Turkish Central Bank signed an agreement with defense and technology firms Aselsan and Havelsan, and the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) for the research, development and testing processes of potential digital Turkish lira.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) said it "continues to research the potential benefits of introducing a digital Turkish lira to complement the existing payments infrastructure."
As part of the memorandum of understanding, Digital Turkish Lira Collaboration Platform was established, according to the statement.
"In the light of the findings of the first phase, which involves preliminary testing of strategic and critical technologies related to the project, the plan is to expand the platform with the involvement of new participants," it said.
For the first phase, the bank will create a prototype of Digital Turkish Lira Network and conduct limited tests with technology stakeholders.
"Based on the results of those tests, the CBRT will unveil advanced phases of the pilot study that will reflect a broader participation.
"The CBRT also plans to carry out tests that may diversify the coverage of the Digital Turkish Lira Ramp;D Project into areas such as blockchain technology, the use of distributed ledgers in payment systems, and integration with instant payment systems," it said.
With the first phase results expected in 2022, there is no final decision yet for issuing digital Turkish lira, the bank noted.