Founded in 2013, BIST is the result of the merger of the Istanbul Stock Exchange, the Istanbul Gold Exchange, and the Turkish Derivatives Exchange (TurkDex). Per the exchange’s annual report for 2017, it has 399 listed companies, a market capitalization of around $133 billion, and $1 trillion of total traded value.
The recent development will synchronize the customer databases of Borsa Istanbul, Istanbul Clearing, Settlement and Custody Bank (Takasbank), and the Central Securities Depository of Turkey (MKK).
The new platform, which is “designed under the Know Your Customer concept (KYC),” will manage the addition of new customers, manage documents, and edit information. "If required, the application can be used in other projects too," BIST reportedly said.
In the beginning of August, Turkey established the country’s first university-level blockchain center, aiming to close the blockchain expertise gap and ensure wide deployment of the technology. The center’s director Bora Erdamar said then that Turkey may have a chance to become a leading country in blockchain technology.
While in recent months Turkey has demonstrated a proactive approach to blockchain adoption, even considering the development of a national digital currency, lawmakers of the state Directorate of Religious Affairs have previously said that Bitcoin (BTC) was “not compatible” with Islam.
Despite the government’s position, cryptocurrency exchanges in Turkey reportedly enjoy the support of most banks, making it easier for new traders to start buying and selling cryptocurrencies.
Interest in cryptocurrency has grown in the country following a nosedive of the national currency, the Turkish lira. In mid-August, local exchanges saw trade volumes spike by as much as 150 percent, as traders tried to protect their fiat savings from devaluation by pouring it into Bitcoin.