According to a senior government official, the upcoming crypto regulations under review in the Turkish Parliament do not include a 40% tax on crypto.
Cryptocurrency investors in Turkey can breathe a collective cautious sigh of relief. A legal framework designed to prioritize transparency, safety, and auditability of crypto exchange platforms, will be delivered to Parliament in the weeks ahead. A secondary priority of the framework is to create an appropriate financial environment for the growth of blockchain businesses. This does not include an alleged 40% tax, according to Mustafa Elitas, a parliamentary leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Elitas tweeted on Dec. 6, 2021, that the impending law will be “aimed at regulating the [local cryptocurrency] system, preventing malicious acts, protecting investors and countering grievances.”
Following a meeting of 13 crypto executives and senior government and financial sector officials, Elitas said those who attended would prefer a skeleton framework to facilitate quick amendments in a fast-paced industry. Parliament will have the ultimate say in any proposed regulation, according to Elitas. The government wants to establish a central custodian bank to remove counterparty risk.
Exchanges Booming In Turkey
Turkey has nearly five million accounts on crypto platforms. The Financial Crimes Board (MASAK) recently fined Binance, or BN Teknoloji, nearly $634000. Binance is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in Turkey by daily trading volume. In response, Binance Turkey said that it “‘openly’ communicates and cooperates with regulatory and supervisory authorities, and strives to ‘create a sustainable, healthy and safe ecosystem.’” Over 30 cryptocurrency platforms are based in Turkey. On Dec. 21, 2021, the number of trades exceeded one million, following the Lira’s devaluation. Data from Chainalysis and Kaiko showed that bitcoin and USDT have been the most popular for Lira trades since 2019.
Hefty Fines For Non-Compliant Exchanges
On May 4, 2021, MASAK compelled crypto exchanges to perform Know-Your-Customer checks, and flag high volume trading and suspicious transactions, following the collapse of exchanges Thodex and Vebitcoin and others, which resulted in thousands of investors losing their money. The CEO of Thodex fled with $2B to Albania, following an unexplained stop in trading. Non-compliant exchanges could face fines and prosecution. The central bank banned the use of cryptocurrencies for payments on Apr. 30, 2021. The governor of the central bank says that the bank does not intend to ban cryptocurrencies.