Turkey’s crypto regulations in final stages, finance minister reveals

Turkey is in the final stages of implementing comprehensive cryptocurrency regulations, according to the country’s Minister of Treasury and Finance, Mehmet Şimşek. The new framework aims to legally define critical concepts in cryptocurrency, license trading platforms, and comply with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards.

The FATF is an intergovernmental organization that sets standards and promotes effective implementation of legal, regulatory, and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing, and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.

Binance Turkey being fined 8 million lira (approximately $750,000) in 2021 by the Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) for failing to comply with anti-money laundering laws. This fine was imposed in the context of Turkey’s efforts to align with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards

Turkey’s move towards cryptocurrency regulation is part of a broader effort to exit the FATF’s “grey list” of countries that need to improve their anti-money laundering measures. The country was downgraded to the “grey list” in 2021 due to insufficient measures in combating money laundering and terrorism financing.

The upcoming regulations will require crypto firms to obtain licenses from the country’s Capital Markets Board (CMB). The legislation also authorizes the CMB to regulate the sale of crypto assets through crowdfunding, ensuring a comprehensive framework.

The new guidelines will also define crypto assets as “intangible assets that can be distributed over digital networks, and capable of expressing value or rights”. This broad definition is part of the government’s effort to increase trust in the crypto asset sector and eliminate risks.

Turkey’s move towards crypto regulation comes amidst a surge in crypto trading in the country. Between July 2022 and June 2023, Turkey ranked fourth globally in raw crypto transaction volumes, with approximately $170 billion in activity. The country’s new rules are expected to focus on licensing and taxation, as well as ensuring the security of users’ assets and setting up certain criteria in terms of listings and custody.

At present, crypto businesses are obligated to pay general taxes, but there is no official categorization of crypto assets and various crypto-related activities, such as mining or staking, are not taxed in any distinctive way

The crypto legislative proposals are expected to be ready this month, ahead of the FATF evaluation scheduled for February. This proactive approach underscores the global importance of regulatory measures and international compliance when it comes to cryptocurrencies.

Leave a comment

My Newsletter

Sign Up For Updates & Newsletters