The controversies involving crypto exchanges have not been taken lightly by the Turkish government.
On Saturday, a presidential decree was published on the country’s Official Gazette. The decree states that all cryptocurrency trading platforms are now subjected to anti-money laundering (AML) and terrorism financing regulations.
This was a swift action made by Turkish authorities following the shutdown of Thodex and Vebitcoin, the two of the country’s crypto exchanges. Executives and employees of both exchanges are now facing charges of fraud. A large number were detained and being questioned over their participation in the alleged scam. Thodex CEO Faruk Fatih Ozer remains at large and a manhunt operation in cooperation with Interpol was already launched against him.
Last month, the country’s central bank implemented a ban on the use of cryptocurrencies as payment. It cited volatility, susceptibility to thieves, lack of regulation, and irrevocable transactions which result in losses as reasons behind its action.
BTC (bitcoin) price dropped by 2.54% after the announcement of the ban. Prices of other cryptocurrencies also dropped along with Bitcoin.
MASAK, a financial watchdog will oversee the implementation of the new regulation of the 31 exchanges that operate in the country. Under the new regulation, all exchanges should require their users for proof of residency and identification documents. A revalidation of these documents should be conducted from time to time. They should also block users that are blacklisted by the government included in the sanction list. More so, they need to report any suspicious activity of any user. They need to brief the authorities on the services provided to institutional investors.
Controversies surrounding crypto exchanges have been a major factor in the implementation of more rigid regulations in any country. More countries have decided to adopt the FATF “Travel Rule” and the most recent of which was Japan. Regulations in place help protect the interest of the investors like those of Thodex and Vebitcoin’s users.