Turkey adds crypto firms to money laundering, terror financing rules

FILE PHOTO: A bitcoin logo is seen next to Turkish flag at a cryptocurrency exchange shop in Istanbul
FILE PHOTO: A bitcoin logo is seen next to Turkish flag at a cryptocurrency exchange shop in Istanbul, Turkey April 27, 2021. Picture taken April 27, 2021. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

May 3, 2021

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey added cryptocurrency trading platforms to the list of firms covered by anti-money laundering and terrorism financing regulation, it said in a presidential decree published early on Saturday.

The Official Gazette said the country’s latest expansion of rules governing cryptocurrency transactions would take immediate effect and cover “crypto asset service providers”, which would be liable to the existing regulations.

Last month Turkey’s central bank banned the use of crypto assets for payments on the grounds such transactions were risky. In the days that followed two Turkey-based cryptocurrency trading platforms were halted under separate investigations.

The probe into one of them, Thodex, led to the jailing on Thursday of six suspects including the siblings of its chief executive, Faruk Fatih Ozer, who Turkish authorities are seeking after he travelled to Albania.

(Reporting by Jonathan Spicer and Can Sezer)