Newsletter #1 - ReFi Turkiye Program

Newsletter #1 - ReFi Turkiye Program




  • To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, developing countries require an additional $4 trillion in annual financing.
  • In 2021, record-breaking levels were reached in four key indicators measuring our impact on the planet's climate change.
  • The Limit Exceedance Day is getting closer each year. This indicates that humanity is demanding more than nature can provide.
  • It is estimated that by 2050, climate change and disasters will force approximately 1.2 billion people worldwide to migrate.


  • According to the International Organization for Migration, Turkiye is the country hosting the highest number of refugees globally.
  • Approximately 65% of individuals aged 18-29 in Turkiye have knowledge about crypto currency exchanges. The investment rate stands at around 48 percent, meaning that one out of two young individuals is a crypto investor.


  • Is it possible to create a new financial model that turns the impact of predictable shocks, which researchers have been studying since the 1970s, into a "creative destruction" -in Bekir Ağırdır's words- that invalidates the dynamics triggering crises?


The ReFi Turkiye program seeks an answer to the question, "Is it possible to go beyond sustainability and circularity, utilizing new technologies to establish a financial model that regenerates systems?". To collectively build this answer, an open call is made to create an ecosystem in collaboration and solidarity with actors in this field in Turkiye.


If you're curious to learn more about the concept, you can examine the "ReFi Turkiye's Theory of Change" article where we delve into the path outlined by the ReFi movement, which addresses global issues through its Web3, finance, and social impact dimensions.

In the initial days of the open call for ecosystem creation by Akbank LAB and imece, which are the initiators of the program, several entities joined, including AvalancheGreen Pill, Boğaziçi University Blockchain Community, ITU Blockchain Community, Sabancı University Blockchain Community, and Istanbul University Blockchain Community!

Eğer sen de içinde bulunduğun kurum vasıtasıyla bu açık çağrının bir parçası olabileceğini düşünüyorsan: ekosistemdeki bir aktör adına dahil olmak istiyorsan buraya, üniversitedeki Blockchain topluluğunla dahil olmak istiyorsan buraya tıklayabilirsin!


  • The program consists of podcast episodes, meetings, newsletters, and a Hackathon.

ReFi Turkiye as a Regenerative Finance Platform

We have launched the website of the ReFi Turkiye program as a regenerative finance platform. When you visit the platform's subpage, you will find short info notes evaluating the current situation, context, and opportunities.

Where else can you may contact us?

On Twitter, we share tweets focusing on the intersection of Web3 technologies and the impact ecosystem via @refi_turkiye ! You can also follow our website for podcast conversations with pioneers who think and build on Web3!

The ReFi Turkiye program is an exciting process filled with events! The Akbank ReFi Hackathon, which will take place from September 30 to October 2 at Sabancı Center in Istanbul, will be one of the milestones in the process.

If you want to take your first steps into the regenerative finance world with the Hackathon you can apply until September 12 on this page!


If you want to be a part of the motivation to contribute to the world's regeneration process and design a new economy, you can work on the following focus areas during the event: Ecosystem Regeneration, Regenerative Local Economy, Investment, Funds and Donations, Youth Employment, Quality and Transparency in Education. Examples of works in each field are included in an article on the imece platform's Medium page.

Solutions developed with Avalanche technology during the 48-hour marathon will be evaluated by a jury.


The 'Akbank ReFi Hackathon' will be the first hackathon organized on a blockchain network by a bank in Turkiye in collaboration with the Avalanche network.

"A financial model that regenerates the system is possible, but how?" Burcu Küçükünal, Head of Digital Design and Innovation at Akbank, and Buğra Çelik, Board Member of imece, recently sought answers to this question as guests in the "Close-Up" column of Dünya Newspaper, with journalist and columnist Didem Eryar Ünlü.

Burcu Küçükünal, Web3’ü “Onarıcı finansın en önemli bileşenlerinden birisi” olarak tanımlarken, blok zincir teknolojisine ve bu teknolojiyi kullanarak şeffaf, herkese açık, silinemeyen veya değiştirilemeyen kayıtlar ile güvenilirlik sağlayan tüm uygulamalara işaret etti ve bu araçların inovasyon yetilerini güçlendiren yönüne dikkati çekti. Buğra Çelik ise, yaptığı değerlendirmede “Krizlerin arttığı bir dünya var ama aynı zamanda bu krizlere çözüm üretmemizi sağlayan bir teknoloji var. Web3’ün beni en fazla heyecanlandıran kısmı, ihtiyaç duyduğumuz kolektif hareketi sağlayacak koordinasyon potansiyeli sunuyor olması” dedi.

The article also shares the prediction that the dominant perception of Web3 in Turkiye, which is "generating income through crypto exchanges," will disappear by developing environments that allow the participation of individuals with different skills and experiences.

Further Readings:

  • The "leave no one behind" motto set for the Sustainable Development Goals becomes even more important especially in this period of crisis. In the article that you can access here we examine the financing deficit related to the Sustainable Development Goals by looking at the numbers behind this motto.
  • Currently, it is essential to draw the interest of individuals working in areas such as Web3, blockchain, and NFT towards social impact; that is, when we say "Web3 For Good," we cannot exclude crypto and NFT projects that create social impact. That's why we translated the article "Meet the Crypto and NFT Projects Making a Social Impact" into Turkish and added it to our digital library! You can read the translation here.

By the way, you can also click on this link to suggest resources for the digital library! The content you suggest might become an inspiring source for other readers in the next newsletter. What do you think?