The digital currency industry in Turkey is set to face new legislation this month.
to the the report The Turkish government has added digital currency exchanges to its list of companies in need of anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing laws.
Following changes in the legislature following the publication of the Turkish President’s executive decree in the Official Gazette on May 1, these legislative changes were implemented quickly.
As a result, the 31 digital currency exchanges operating in the country are now under the control of the Turkish Financial Crimes Organization (MASAK).
Masak has repeatedly asked for a list of customers of Turkish digital currency exchanges; But with a few exceptions, the organization has not been strict with digital currency exchanges in most cases. From now on, however, Masak will treat digital currency exchanges the same as banks.
From today, these exchange offices must provide identification documents and documents related to their residence, and the accuracy and validity of these documents will be checked regularly. It is interesting to know that such laws are completely far from the usual policies of Turkey.
In addition, these exchanges should refrain from providing services to individuals or organizations that are blacklisted by the Turkish government, report any suspicious activity and transactions, and keep the government informed about the services they provide to institutional investors.
Agah Selim Sesli, a senior researcher at Bitexten, says:
This list (the list of rules that digital currency exchanges must follow) continues, and we are working to review all of these rules.
The items announced yesterday are just some of the rules that Turkish digital currency exchanges must abide by. The full version of the rules will reportedly be released by the end of the week. Sessley predicts that the regulations will include tax laws as well as private wallet reporting (as we see in the United States).
Regulations that were made in Turkey in the past are still in place. Three weeks ago, the Central Bank of Turkey banned the use of digital currencies as a means of payment for daily transactions and imposed restrictions on the use of digital currencies in payment systems.
However, the lack of transparency in the rules has caused confusion among digital currency users in Turkey. Osman Gazi Güçlütürk, Head of the Information Technology Law Department at Kırklareli University in Turkey, says:
Not only has the government not provided a precise definition of digital asset providers, but it has not even properly defined digital assets themselves. These definitions and classifications play an important role in legal concepts.
Mehmet Türkarslan, a legal consultant at one of Turkey’s largest digital currency exchanges, also said:
The government used to use the term “digital asset platforms” and now uses the term “digital asset providers”. However, we assume that digital asset service providers are digital currency exchanges, and we operate by that premise.
Gusluturk explained that the term “digital asset providers” is taken from a report previously published by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on digital currencies. The Financial Action Task Force in the report called digital currency exchanges “virtual asset providers.”
The European Union has used the same term to regulate digital currencies; The only difference is that before defining their rules, service providers have carefully defined digital assets.
It should be noted that these regulations were imposed following the sudden closure of two large digital currency exchange offices in Turkey. Two Turkish exchanges, Thodex and Vebitcoin, abruptly shut down last week, blocking users’ access to their assets.
Mertcan Bayraktar, a lawyer representing many of the plaintiffs in the TADEX exchange, believes that regulating digital currency exchanges is a good thing in itself; But too much of it can make digital currency users dissatisfied and discourage them from using these exchanges. In his opinion:
Digital currencies and China’s blockchain technology in general have created great opportunities. The constant spread of bad and negative news can make people reluctant to invest or trade in this space. This in itself is one of the possible adverse consequences that must be considered.