Turkish customs enforcements brought down an illegal smuggling operation in what is said to be a record bust against illegal Bitcoin mining equipment in Turkey. After receiving a tip, Turkey’s Customs Protection’s anti-smuggling and intelligence teams raided a warehouse earlier this week in Karabağlar, İzmir, where they found 501 ASIC Bitcoin mining rigs in closed cardboard boxes. Customs enforcement reported the estimated value of the seized bitcoin mining equipment at 5 million Turkish liras, or $600,000.
Four suspects were detained as part of the investigation.
Four suspects were detained as part of the investigation. Local reports revealed that the law enforcement is carrying out another active operation in İstanbul, the biggest city and a major customs checkpoint in Turkey. Application-Specific Integrated Circuits, or ASICs, are the most popular way to mine Bitcoin. They are also known for their high electricity usage, a widely known issue that has caused Elon Musk to pull back on his decision to accept Bitcoin payments for Tesla cars earlier this week.
Turkish central bank bans the use of crypto for payments.
Earlier this year, the Central Bank of Turkey (CBRT) said cryptocurrencies and other such digital assets based on blockchain technology could not be used directly or indirectly as an instrument of payment. The crypto industry has gained mainstream exposure this year following bitcoin’s massive winning rally. The price of bitcoin reached as high as $63,000 this month. The price of other cryptocurrencies also reached new all-time highs this year. “Payment service providers will not be able to develop business models in a way that crypto assets are used directly or indirectly in the provision of payment services and electronic money issuance, and will not be able to provide any services related to such business models” the central bank ruled.