Finance Minister Simsek reveals Türkiye’s plan to regulate cryptocurrencies by 2024

Türkiye’s Finance Minister announces plans for stricter crypto asset legislation to improve the country's standing with the Financial Action Task Force and combat money laundering.
Finance Minister Simsek reveals Türkiye’s plan to regulate cryptocurrencies by 2024

In an address to a parliamentary body, Türkiye’s Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said that the government is preparing new legislation aimed at tightening the country’s stance on crypto assets. 

Noted in a report first filed by Reuters, the move is aimed at restoring the country’s international status and having it removed from international watchdog the Financial Action Task Force’s “grey list” — a list of countries that have failed to take sufficient action in preventing money laundering and the financing of terrorist activities.

The Financial Action Task Force, originally founded by the Group of Seven (G7) leading economies, plays a pivotal role in safeguarding the global financial system. In 2019, the FATF issued a stern warning to Turkey, pointing out significant deficiencies in the country's protocols for freezing assets linked to terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

39 of 40 standards adhered to, except crypto

Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek cited the findings of a FATF report that indicated that Türkiye had largely adhered to 39 of the 40 standards established by the watchdog, the only missing piece: crypto assets.

While Minister Simsek announced plans to become crypto assets compliant, specific details pertaining to the impending legal adjustments were not disclosed.

Legal framework

Türkiye’s Presidential Annual Program for 2024, released on October 25 and published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Türkiye, has set a clear objective — to finalise regulations governing cryptocurrencies by the conclusion of 2024. 

In particular, within this 500-page document, Article 400.5 stands out, noting the nation's intent to establish precise definitions for crypto assets, potentially subjecting them to taxation in the future.

The document also aims to provide a definitive legal framework for companies that provide crypto assets, including cryptocurrency exchanges, however, concrete definitions of the forthcoming regulatory framework remain in a grey area of their own.

Lead image: Photo by Osman Köycü

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