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Turkey’s draft rules for crypto assets at final stage, minister says




By Reuters | Updated: 10 January, 2024

ISTANBUL, Jan 10 (Reuters) – Turkey’s crypto asset regulations, expected to bring licensing and operating standards to trading platforms, are at the final stage, Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said on Wednesday.

The rules are aimed at reducing the risk of trading crypto assets as well as helping the country to be taken off an international financial crime watchdog “grey list”, Simsek told the state-owned Anadolu news agency.

“Crypto asset trading platforms will be licensed by the Capital Markets Board (CMB), and minimum operating standards will be required … including some conditions for founders and managers, organizational obligations, capital requirements,” Simsek was quoted as saying by Anadolu.

Turkey ranked fourth globally in raw crypto transaction volumes, at approximately $170 billion over the last year, behind the U.S., India and the United Kingdom, according to a report by blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis.

Turkey’s digital currency boom was fuelled by years of double-digit inflation, which stood at around 65% last month, and a more than 80% drop in the lira versus the dollar over five years.

In 2021, Paris-based financial watchdog the Financial Action Task Force placed the country on its so-called grey list of countries at risk of money laundering and other financial crimes.

In a July report, the FATF said that the lack of requirement for Virtual Asset Service Providers to be licensed or registered in Turkey could limit authorities’ ability to regulate them. It was the last of 40 recommendations marked as “partially compliant” in the report that Turkey needed to address.

Simsek also said the draft will include regulations authorising capital markets board on crypto asset offerings and custody services adding that the taxation issue will not be the focus of the initial regulation draft, according to Anadolu.

“Our main goal with crypto asset regulation is to make this field safer and to eliminate possible risks. Our approach is not restrictive,” Simsek said, adding “We aim to pave the way for the development of blockchain technology and the crypto asset ecosystem.”

© Thomson Reuters 2024