Turkey’s crypto landscape is poised to change as the country’s authorities have decided to integrate digital assets into their tax framework, marking a pivotal shift in their stance on cryptocurrencies. This decision, outlined in the 2024 Presidential Annual Program, comes after years of contemplation and could potentially bring about substantial changes in the nation’s economic policies. Currently, the Turkish government is actively engaged in comprehensive research aimed at defining these digital assets within the country’s legal system.
Additionally, reports from local news outlets suggest that regulatory efforts are underway specifically concerning cryptocurrency exchanges operating within Turkey. However, the specific details of the proposed regulations, which remain undisclosed at this point, are eagerly anticipated. One key focus of these regulations is expected to be investor protection, a crucial aspect given recent events in the cryptocurrency sector.
The Thodax case, involving one of Turkey’s largest crypto exchanges, sent shockwaves across the nation. The former CEO of Thodax, Faruk Fatih Özer, and his two siblings were recently sentenced to 11,196 years in prison each for defrauding investors of millions of dollars. This incident has likely catalyzed the government’s decision to regulate the crypto industry more rigorously.
Prior to this development, Turkey grappled with severe economic challenges, including soaring inflation rates that neared 60%. The resultant economic strain on citizens, coupled with the high cost of living, led many individuals to explore cryptocurrencies as a potential financial sanctuary.
Turkey Has Roughly 10M Crypto Users
Turkey’s interest in cryptocurrencies has been steadily growing, with the country boasting nearly ten million crypto users, making it one of the nations with the highest digital asset adoption rates globally. Şakir Ercan Gül, former Deputy Minister of Finance and Treasury of Turkey and Chairman of crypto exchange CoinTR emphasized, “Turkey has become one of the most active countries in cryptocurrencies and Web3, with nearly ten million crypto users, making it one of the countries with the highest penetration rate of digital assets globally.”
The Turkish government has so far maintained a lenient and inclusive approach toward blockchain technology and Web3 applications. This openness was evident in initiatives like the Turkish Central Bank’s exploration of a digital currency and the establishment of Turkey’s inaugural metaverse government office. However, recent incidents, particularly the Thodax case, have spurred the authorities to adopt a more stringent regulatory stance.