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JAN 12, 2024

Turkey nears completion of newly crafted crypto regulations

by CoinNess Global

The Turkish government is on the verge of finalizing comprehensive regulations for the cryptocurrency market.
It has been known for a number of months that Turkey had been working towards the production of a regulatory framework for crypto, with the primary objective of securing the country’s removal from the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) "grey list." According to revelations from Minister of Treasury and Finance Mehmet Simsek, who participated in an interview with the Anadolu Agency on Wednesday, those regulations are now nearing completion.

Framework in advanced stages

Simsek disclosed key elements of the forthcoming regulations, emphasizing the government's commitment to legally defining critical concepts in the crypto space, licensing trading platforms and aligning with the standards set by FATF.
The crypto framework tailored for the Turkish market is in the advanced stages of development, with a meticulous evaluation of its technical aspects underway, noted Simsek. The overarching goal is to mitigate the risks associated with crypto trading, especially for ordinary investors, aligning with international standards to facilitate the country's removal from the FATF's grey list.

Licensing and defined terms

Simsek outlined the forthcoming guidelines, stating that crypto platforms will be mandated to acquire licenses from Turkey's Capital Markets Board (CMB). A number of months ago, Bora Erdamar, the director of the BlockchainIST Center, an Istanbul-based university research and development center for blockchain technology, had underscored the importance of establishing licensing standards as part of the new crypto framework. Erdamar claimed that would be necessary in order to “prevent abuse of the system.”
Erdamar is of the view that any such regulatory framework may include digital security protocols, advanced custody services, compulsory proof of reserves and capital adequacy requirements.
It’s understood that the regulations will provide legal definitions for essential terms such as "crypto assets," "crypto wallets," "crypto asset service providers," "crypto asset custody service" and "crypto asset buying and selling platforms."
As an example, Simsek clarified the definition of crypto assets as "intangible assets that can be created and stored electronically using distributed ledger technology or a similar technology, distributed over digital networks, and capable of expressing value or rights."
While emphasizing the reduction of risks in crypto trading, Simsek clarified that the regulations would not encompass the specific tax regime for virtual assets. The proposed regulations have long been under consideration as Turkish authorities aim to bring clarity to the crypto market.
The Minister assured that the crypto legislative proposals would be finalized this month, preceding the FATF evaluation scheduled for February.
Notably, between July 2022 and June 2023, Turkey ranked fourth globally in raw crypto transaction volumes, recording approximately $170 billion in activity, trailing behind the United States, India and the United Kingdom, as reported by the blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis. A report by KuCoin last year identified a marked increase in adoption in Turkey. 
It’s believed that wayward inflation over recent years relative to the Turkish lira is playing a large part in that trend. In recent weeks the Turkish president took the step of appointing an expert in blockchain and crypto assets to the central bank’s rate-setting committee.
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