Turkey Prepares Fresh Crypto Legislation to Escape FATF ‘Grey List’

Turkish Finance Minister noted that work related to the crypto assets regulations is the final outstanding matter in order to achieve full compliance with FATF standards.

Turkey’s finance minister has revealed the country’s intentions to introduce new crypto regulations, aiming to secure removal from the Financial Action Task Force’s “grey list” of nations lacking sufficient anti-money laundering measures.

Back in 2021, the FATF had put Turkey on the grey list. As per the Reuters report earlier today, November 1, Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek spoke to the parliamentary commission that “work related to crypto assets” is one of the final outstanding matters needed for the nation to achieve full compliance with FATF’s standards.

On its website, the FATF noted:

“Due to its geographic location, the country faces the greatest money laundering risks from drug trafficking, migrant smuggling, human trafficking and fuel smuggling. The country also faces significant terrorist financing risks from both national and international threats.”

According to Simsek, the only remaining issue for achieving technical compliance is associated with crypto assets. He mentioned intentions to present a crypto assets bill to the parliament to facilitate the removal from the grey list but did not detail the legal revisions. Simsek expressed that the government aims to swiftly submit the crypto assets proposal to the parliament.

Turkey’s Measures for Crypto Regulations

The G7, a group of advanced economies, established the FATF to protect the global financial system. In 2019, they warned Turkey about significant deficiencies in processes related to freezing assets linked to terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Turkey’s Presidential Annual Program for 2024, published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Turkey on October 25, outlines the goal of finalizing cryptocurrency regulations within the country by the end of 2024. Article 400.5 within this extensive 500-page document outlines the planned efforts to establish precise definitions for crypto assets, potentially paving the way for future taxation.

The document also aims to provide legal definitions for crypto asset providers, such as cryptocurrency exchanges. However, it does not offer detailed information regarding the forthcoming regulatory framework. By December 2022, the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey had successfully conducted the initial trial of its central bank digital currency, the digital lira, with plans for further testing in 2024.

During the last year of 2022, Turkey was also working on introducing its central bank digital currency (CBDC). However, those plans seem to be on the back foot for now.

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Bhushan Akolkar

Bhushan is a FinTech enthusiast and holds a good flair in understanding financial markets. His interest in economics and finance draw his attention towards the new emerging Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency markets. He is continuously in a learning process and keeps himself motivated by sharing his acquired knowledge. In free time he reads thriller fictions novels and sometimes explore his culinary skills.

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