Regulators are looking hard at crypto in Turkey, but local experts welcome the supervision.
Turkey has made a name for itself as a crypto-friendly nation with a “wait and see” attitude to digital currencies, but that could be about to change, as the government is now able to take matters in hand.
The Turkish Ministry of Finance and Finance went on Twitter to voice fears about cryptocurrencies and to announce joint work on the issue with a variety of local regulators on Monday.
According to the announcement, the Ministry is collaborating with two financial regulatory agencies with the central bank:
“We share the rising concerns about crypto with the rest of the world. The developments (on crypto around the world) and the state of crypto in Turkey are closely monitored by our ministry. We are collaborating with the Central Bank, Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency, and Capital Markets Board within this frame under the presidency of Deputy Minister.”
Blockchain 101 co-author and Blockchain Turkey Forum chief editor Ahmet Usta observed that fast-growing cryptocurrency and digital asset ecosystems can be dangerous for investors who are uninitiated in the complex complexities of crypto.
“I think it would be appropriate to approach the statement by The Ministry of Treasury and Finance within this context, and I hope future regulations will pave the way for innovation while protecting consumers,” he said. “I hope Turkey will seize this historical opportunity in the field of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, which made these assets possible and reach a leading position with its exemplary projects in the global arena by creating a healthy ecosystem.”
Crypto lecturer Hakkı Polat told Cointelegraph that the primary aim of the Ministry’s announcement is to safeguard the interests of customers, adding, “I believe that the first move will be to legalise local crypto exchanges in order to avoid any operation that could theoretically damage investors. This can be achieved by the use of financial markets as a template.”
The second stage, according to Polat, may be taxes on crypto trading, maybe as soon as the third quarter of 2021:
“If the government takes a friendly approach here by placing lower tax rates, making it easier to buy and sell Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies within a legal framework, Turkey would then become an attractive market for the global crypto investors again. In a time where the foreign capital flow is a serious need, global crypto investors’ potential interest in Turkey would bring economic relief to the country.”
Polat also suggested that any potential tax regulation should follow the approach of international institutions such as the Financial Action Task Force and have clear definitions of what constitutes a cryptocurrency.
“Lack of definition and regulations for cryptocurrencies would cause confusion of authority among regulatory bodies. Taxes would surely come, but only after a systematic and careful study,” Polat said.
In an earlier interview, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao told Cointelegraph that the exchange had collaborated closely with local regulators since joining Turkey. “Working with governments is essential to developing a competitive industry and fostering broader acceptance. We still cooperate with local regulators in our growth activities,” he said.
Özgür Güneri, CEO of the main Turkish crypto exchange BtcTurk, expressed its open support for the rule in a press release. “A regulatory structure for the cryptocurrency industry will add value to the plan of the Istanbul Finance Center and place Turkey as a leader in this field. We value and support the efforts made in this sense.”
More support for the announcement came from Bitpanda Turkey general manager Elbruz Yılmaz, who said that his exchange has experience in the regulatory structure of European markets and is ready to engage in local studies on the issue.
According to a previous study by Cointelegraph, the Capital Markets Board of Turkey—a governing agency that regulates the country’s stock markets—plans to establish rules to monitor, inspect and control crypto markets.
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