Turkey has revealed its intention to impose a regulatory structure on crypto assets, marking a significant shift in its financial strategy. This development emerged in the 2024 Presidential Annual Program, released recently. The document, translated from its original version, indicates a definitive approach toward cryptocurrencies, a market rapidly gaining traction within the country. Consequently, the government aims to finalize studies that legally define digital virtual assets.

The country has witnessed a surge in crypto investors, primarily due to its battle against high inflation rates. More than half of Turkish citizens now see digital currencies as a hedge against the economic crunch, according to a KuCoin survey. Additionally, the detailed regulatory plans, published in a supplementary issue of the Official Gazette, are reviving attention to previously sidelined matters in Turkish financial circles.

Turkey Aims for Clear Crypto Classification

The upcoming legal framework responds to public pressure and the necessity for enhanced security. Initially, laws restricted cryptocurrency usage to shield the Turkish lira, meeting resistance from national crypto enthusiasts. Their relentless advocacy has significantly influenced the government’s stance, leading to these foundational changes in legislation.

Item 400.5 of the Presidential Decree, under “Policies and Measures,” references specific crypto-related projects. This section underscores the ambition to legally categorize digital assets, an essential step for policy clarity. Moreover, the 2024 agenda stresses introducing regulatory norms for cryptocurrency exchanges, although the specifics remain undisclosed.

Thodex Debacle Accelerates Turkish Crypto Laws

Turkey’s earlier efforts to legislate cryptocurrencies and exchanges, especially around taxation, encountered setbacks. The necessity for governmental intervention became evident after the Thodex exchange crisis in April 2021. Over 400,000 patrons faced the loss of deposits amounting to $2 billion, a jolt to the national economy. This scandal culminated in the arrest of CEO Faruk Fatih Ozer and his consequent sentencing to 11,196 years in prison this September.

The new framework aims to prevent debacles and establish a transparent and secure trading environment. Though still in its formative stage, this move by the Turkish government is a pivotal step in recognizing and legitimizing digital assets while safeguarding investor interests.

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