Turkish Government Urges Exchanges to Report Bitcoin Trades Above USD 1,200

Turkey is introducing a reporting requirement for large trades, including Bitcoin, from cryptocurrency exchanges.

In addition to its recent efforts to capture the potential of cryptocurrency to facilitate criminal activity, the Turkish government has announced that cryptocurrency exchanges in the country must report all transactions in excess of 10,000 Turkish lira (equivalent to US $ 1,200) as a financial crime to the government, according to a report from Decrypt.

When announcing the decision on national broadcaster CNN Türk, Turkish Finance and Finance Minister Lütfi Elvan noted that exchanges have ten days to report customers who carry out transactions that exceed this benchmark.

The minister claimed that the government does not believe that cryptocurrency traders have malicious intent but that their anti-money laundering (AML) rules are modeled on those of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international standard-setter for AML regulations.

“People need to educate themselves about crypto,” Elvan said, adding, “I hear a lot from citizens who invest in crypto, and when I ask them what crypto is, they often have no idea.”

However, the minister did not reveal when the new regulation will come into force.

The new rule is only part of Turkey’s rapidly evolving regulatory environment regarding the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. In April it banned the use of cryptocurrency payment services and pointed to a lack of mechanisms for monitoring such payments by a central authority. Reports surfaced later that month suggesting the country would set up a central bank cryptocurrency exchange custodian following apparent exit fraud by the operators of two local exchanges.

Meanwhile, the lira has depreciated significantly over the past year, making Bitcoin an attractive option for citizens given these heightened regulatory barriers to use.

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