Turkey is actively considering regulatory measures for its burgeoning crypto market with a specific focus on licensing and taxation. The primary goal is to lift the country out of the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) “grey list,” a designation indicating susceptibility to money laundering and financial crimes. Currently, Turkey ranks fourth globally in crypto trading, handling approximately $170 billion in raw transaction volumes over the past year, following the United States, India, and the United Kingdom.
Bora Erdamar, a director at the BlockchainIST Center, a blockchain research and development center, revealed that the forthcoming regulations will emphasize licensing standards to prevent system abuse. These standards may cover various aspects such as capital adequacy, digital security enhancements, custody services, and the verification of reserves. The move comes in response to concerns raised by the FATF, which placed Turkey on the grey list in 2021.
Mehmet Türkarslan, legal director of Turkish cryptocurrency platform Paribu, stressed the urgency of swift cryptocurrency regulation. Türkarslan emphasized the need for a regulatory framework, including licensing for virtual asset service providers, to ensure compliance and expedite removal from the FATF grey list. Countries on this list are considered to have inadequate safeguards against money laundering and financial crimes, requiring collaboration with the FATF to address these deficiencies.
Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek announced in October the acceleration of new legislation for crypto assets to fulfill the remaining FATF recommendations. The goal is to swiftly remove Turkey from the grey list, as this status can negatively impact the country’s investment ratings and overall reputation. The proposed regulations underscore Turkey’s commitment to fostering a secure and compliant crypto ecosystem, aligning with global standards in the rapidly evolving digital asset landscape.