Turkiye’s Parliament Enacts Groundbreaking Crypto Regulations: 10 Key Points to Know

New Law Mandates Licensing and Regulation for Crypto Platforms, Addresses Key Issues

In a historic move, Turkiye has enacted its first comprehensive regulation for crypto assets, following the passage of the new bill by the Grand National Assembly. The legislation amends the Capital Markets Law to include provisions on the establishment and operation of crypto platforms, requiring them to obtain authorization from the Capital Markets Board (SPK).

Key Highlights and Implications

Here are ten crucial questions and answers regarding the new crypto asset regulations and the changes they will bring to the ecosystem:

  1. Will Investors Be Taxed? Despite widespread speculation, the new law does not include provisions for taxing crypto investors. However, platforms operating in Turkiye are required to contribute 1% of their annual revenues, excluding interest income, to both the SPK and TÜBİTAK by the end of May each year.
  2. Which Authorities Will Be In Charge? The SPK is authorized to oversee the issuance and regulation of crypto assets. TÜBİTAK will set criteria for information systems and technological infrastructures within the ecosystem.
  3. Is Licensing Required to Offer Services to Users? Yes, platforms must obtain licenses from the SPK to operate. Existing service providers must apply for an operating license within one month of the law’s effective date or declare their intention to cease operations within three months, ensuring they do not harm customer interests.
  4. Consequences for Operating Without a License Individuals and entities found operating as crypto asset service providers without the necessary authorization face severe penalties, including 3 to 5 years in prison and fines ranging from 5,000 to 10,000 days of judicial penalties.
  5. What About Foreign-Based Platforms? Foreign platforms that do not have a license and are not providing services in Turkiye are not affected by the law. However, if these platforms establish a presence, create a Turkish website, or engage in marketing activities in Turkiye without a license, they will be considered unauthorized crypto service providers.
  6. Seizure of Crypto Assets The law protects customers’ cash and crypto assets from being seized due to the debts of the service providers. Conversely, the assets of crypto service providers cannot be seized for customers’ debts, even for public receivables.
  7. Listing of Crypto Assets The SPK will set the principles and rules for listing crypto assets. These criteria may include technical specifications established in consultation with TÜBİTAK or other relevant institutions. Listing a crypto asset on a platform does not imply public endorsement.
  8. Oversight of Platforms Financial and information systems audits of crypto service providers will be conducted by independent audit firms listed by the SPK.
  9. Penalties for Misconduct Board members and employees of crypto service providers who commit embezzlement face 8 to 14 years in prison and up to 5,000 days of judicial fines.
  10. Use of Crypto ATMs The law mandates the cessation of operations of crypto ATMs within three months of its enactment. Any ATMs still operational beyond this period will be shut down by the authorities.

These new regulations mark a pivotal moment for Turkiye’s crypto market, aiming to enhance transparency, protect investors, and establish a robust legal framework for the industry’s growth.

Source: Trthaber / Prepared by Irem Yildiz

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