The Turkey government has introduced a new policy that will require all crypto exchanges in the country to report all crypto transactions worth more than 10,000 liras to the Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK). The country’s minister of Treasury and Finance Lütfi Elvan, made this announcement on May 6 through a live broadcast on a local news channel. Allegedly, this move aims to combat crypto-related fraud in the country.
According to Elvan, the new policy will grant MASAK full audit authority over all crypto exchanges in the country.
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These changes come on the heels of Turkish police arresting 62 individuals in relation to a crypto exit scheme that saw 391,000 Turks lose approximately £1.43 billion. Reportedly, Thodex crypto exchange shut down abruptly, preventing its users from trading and withdrawing their funds. After the arrests, the authorities issued another 16 warrants for people who were also involved in the scam.
Working to create a safe crypto environment
This news comes as Turkey transitions from a wait-and-see approach toward crypto to a regulated model. According to a previous report, the Ministry of Treasury and Finance joined hands with the Central Bank, the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency, and the Capital Market’s board to study cryptocurrencies. This task force also took the opinions of experts and representatives from local crypto exchanges into consideration while conducting the study.
A month later, the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) drafted the country’s first rule that regulates the crypto space. The regulation banned the use of crypto for the payment of goods or services. Explaining why this move was relevant, CBRT said cryptocurrency transactions bear irrevocable risk. The authority went on to note that digital currencies are extremely volatile, seeing as they are not governed by a central regulatory authority.
In a bid to expand the rules covering crypto, Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, issued a decree that added crypto exchanges to the list of companies under the purviews of the anti-money laundering and terrorism financing regulation.