Turkey imposes license, company obligation on crypto companies


With the regulation that the government has completed its work, crypto asset trading platforms will not be able to open offices, engage in promotional and marketing activities without obtaining a license and establishing a company in Turkey. Crypto revenues will be taxed like other financial instruments.

According to the studies reached by Bloomberg regarding the crypto asset regulation, which is planned to be submitted to the Parliament in the coming days, there is no obstacle for companies based in Turkey to open accounts on foreign platforms on their own initiative.

With the steps to be taken after the first regulation, a minimum capital requirement will be imposed on crypto asset service provider organizations similar to other financial institutions. This figure has not yet been clarified, but the government is preparing to keep the capital requirement high, based on the idea that “institutions should have a capital structure that is appropriate for the importance of the activities they carry out”.

CMB will be authorized

With the new law, Turkey will also authorize the Capital Markets Board (CMB) to supervise companies. In this context, the board will be authorized to determine the principles regarding the operating conditions, organizational structures, capital, information systems, managers and personnel of the platforms. In addition, a review process will be carried out on the compliance of platforms’ information systems and technological infrastructures with the operating conditions. The steps to be taken in this regard will be determined by secondary regulations.

Currently, platforms are not subject to any regulation to protect individual investors. The proposed law will require the signing of a minimum contract between customers and crypto asset platforms. Any contractual terms that eliminate or limit the responsibility of institutions towards their customers will be deemed invalid.

Standards regarding publications, advertisements, advertisements and announcements of crypto asset service providers and all kinds of commercial communications will also be determined by law. It will be aimed to prevent investors from being misled with exaggerated promises.

Taxation study will be conducted

The government will also introduce a set of rules for the taxation of any gains from crypto assets. Just as financial instruments such as stocks and mutual funds are subject to a taxation regime, income from the purchase and sale of crypto assets will be taxed in a similar manner. For this, work will be done in tax laws.

Currently, many crypto assets are listed on platforms. In the regulation to be made, it will be obligatory to establish a written procedure for determining the assets to be processed on these platforms. In this way, it is aimed to ensure that platforms are more selective about the assets they will list. The CMB will also be the authorized institution in this regard.

Another rule to be introduced by the law will be the obligation to establish a surveillance system to detect and prevent possible market-distorting transactions on platforms.

One of the risks associated with crypto asset platforms is the protection of investors’ assets on the platforms. In this context, additional regulations will be introduced to ensure that assets and cash that customers do not prefer to keep in their wallets are stored by parties whose qualifications will be determined outside the platforms. In addition, the sanctions to be determined regarding abuses should not be less than traditional financial instruments, and even more severe penalties are emphasized.

The government held its final work on crypto regulation in Istanbul last week. The results of the meeting, which was attended by the CMB, the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey, the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BRSA), and the Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK), as well as bank managers and companies providing crypto asset services, were discussed at the Economic Coordination Board meeting convened today.

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