Cryptocurrency exchanges in Turkey are now required to report any tradings with a value of over 10.000 Turkish lira ($1200) to fit new anti-money laundering rules.
The financial crimes investigation board of Turkey (MASAK) has now the jurisdiction to supervise the anti-money laundering regulations, but these new rules aren’t very clear yet. The Minister didn’t reveal many details, but he declared that digital currency exchanges will have ten days to submit their reports.
Lütfi Elvan, the Turkish Finance and Treasury Minister, stated during an interview for CNN Turkey last week that crypto exchanges have to communicate these transactions to financial authorities.
Elvan said that isn’t the government’s intention to treat cryptocurrency traders as felons, make this new industry safer and more comprehensible to new investors. In fact, the regulations are based on the guidelines of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). This task force is a standard-setter for anti-money laundering regulation whole over the world.
“People must educate themselves about crypto. I often hear from citizens who invest in crypto, and when I ask them what crypto is, they often have no idea.”Lütfi Elvan, the Turkish Finance and Treasury Minister
In April Turkey’s Central Bank banned cryptocurrency payments because of their anonymity and absence of regulations. This measure was taken because of cryptocurrencies’ volatility and the felonious activity they are supposedly used for. Digital wallet theft and the impotence of the government to intervene were also mentioned in the press release.
Just a few days later, Thodex, one of the largest crypto exchanges in the country went offline, and more than 300.000 users were left in confusion. Losses could reach $2 billion while Thodex Chief Executive Officer Faruk Fatih Ozer left the country. The company’s accounts were blocked from the Turkish government, and its headquarters are under police custody. 62 people that were linked with criminal complaints got arrested by the police.
Another cryptocurrency exchange was shut down last month. The Turkish Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) started an investigation on Vebitcoin one day after the platform announced it had ceased all operations due to financial issues.
These occurrences required the government to intervene, and the latest move announced by Lütfi Elvan could be the beginning of the total regulation of crypto in Turkey.