Turkish Regulator Ramps Up Efforts to Create Crypto Legislation

The Capital Markets Board is honing in on crypto following what seems to be an explosion of interest.

Turkish regulatory group Sermaye Piyasası Kurulu (SPK), also known as the Capital Markets Board (CMB), is planning to increase its efforts toward cryptocurrency regulation throughout 2020 as a result of increased interest in and usage of cryptocurrency in Turkey. The news came in a report by Turkish news source Hürriyet late last week.

Indeed, a survey conducted by German data company Statista in 2019 showed that as many as one in five Turks said they had used or currently owned cryptocurrency.

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Infographic: How Common is Crypto? | Statista Source: Statista 

However, despite reportedly high interest in cryptocurrency investing in the country, a legal framework for the regulation of cryptocurrency does not exist.

As a result, “public authorities expressed their concerns about this issue and asked the CMB to make supervision and regulation,” at which point, “it was learned that the Capital Markets Board (CMB) started to work rapidly with the new year.” (Translated quote.)

The CMB is also reportedly concerned about malicious actors within the cryptosphere, as well as the fact that a lack of regulation currently makes it difficult for the state to tax this area. “Public authorities state that investors intend to more clearly define their rights in terms of crypto-currency issues and eliminate these concerns,” the report said. (Translated quote.)

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Sources close to the matter have reportedly stated that the CMB’s regulatory efforts will focus not only on cryptocurrencies themselves but also on platforms that support cryptocurrency usage, such as cryptocurrency exchanges.

Last year, the CMB issued a communiqué concerning cryptocurrencies that focused on fundraising in digital asset markets.

Global interest in Turkey as a crypto hotspot is increasing

Blockchain will also reportedly be one of the “focal points” of the Istanbul Finance Center (IFC) over the coming year. According to Hürriyet, the IFC “provides innovative opportunities in capital markets and payments systems, such as a blockchain-based distributed ledger technology and artificial intelligence.”

The growing interest in cryptocurrencies in Turkey has not gone unnoticed by cryptocurrency exchange Binance, which recently launched a fiat-to-crypto gateway for the Turkish Lira in what seems to be a clear effort to begin further establishing itself in Turkish markets.

The company said in a blog post published in November that “we have also partnered with Turkey-based payments company Papara to allow users to soon purchase BNB, BTC, ETH, and XRP on Binance with the country’s currency.”

Changpeng Zhao reiterated his enthusiasm for the nation’s crypto industry in the announcement of the gateway’s launch: “Turkey is a vibrant country that has illustrated one of the strongest demands and fast-growing interest in crypto…[it] has quickly adopted crypto in just the last year as the country faced economic uncertainties, which correlates with global economic markets but twice the rate from its neighboring European countries.”

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