Turkey aims to shed FATF ‘grey list’ status with new crypto regulations

Turkey aims to shed FATF ‘grey list’ status with new crypto regulations


Turkey is reportedly drafting fresh regulations to govern crypto assets in an effort to convince the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) — an international organization responsible for combating financial crimes — to remove it from a “grey list” of nations that have not done enough to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

The FATF placed Turkey on its grey list in 2021. According to a report, during a discussion with a parliamentary commission on Oct. 31, Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said a FATF report determined that Turkey adhered to all but one of the 40 standards set by the watchdog.

Simsek reportedly stated that the sole outstanding matter for technical compliance is related to crypto assets. He cited plans to propose a crypto assets law to parliament to exit the grey list but did not specify the legal changes.

The Group of Seven, or G7, advanced economies established the FATF to safeguard the international financial system. It cautioned Turkey in 2019 about significant deficiencies in procedures for freezing assets associated with terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

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The Turkish Presidential Annual Program for 2024, released on Oct. 25 in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Turkey, sets the objective of completing cryptocurrency regulations in the country by the end of 2024. Article 400.5 in the comprehensive 500-page document outlines the intended efforts to establish clear definitions for crypto assets, potentially subjecting them to taxation in the future.

The document also intends to legally define crypto asset providers like cryptocurrency exchanges. However, it does not provide further specifics on the upcoming regulatory framework. By December 2022, the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey had successfully conducted the initial trial of its central bank digital currency, the digital lira. It has expressed intentions to pursue further testing into 2024.

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