Top crypto platforms want regulation for transparency
Gizem Karakış - ANKARA
Representatives of Turkey’s three largest cryptocurrency exchange platforms have conveyed demands under three main topics to a senior official of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP): Capital requirements, technology infrastructure and financial transparency.
Commenting on their meeting with AKP deputy parliamentary group leader Mustafa Elitaş on Jan. 20, Paribu CEO Yasin Oral said: “We believe that it would be for the benefit of both the crypto asset ecosystem and the country’s interests to put under regulatory audits those entities which have obtained an establishment license from authorities, have a paid-in capital, have been operating with their own technology infrastructure in Turkey and do not generate income without paying taxes.”
“We also think that technical and legal aspects of security token offerings also should be taken into the scope of a regulation. If we can put into practice an inclusive, facilitating and user-saving regulation we will be able to grab the opportunity and empower the Turkish economy,” he told a group of reporters after the meeting.
A law proposal to regulate local cryptocurrency exchange platforms is expected to be submitted to the Turkish parliament in the following weeks.
“We will continue to speak with several stakeholders,” said Elitaş after the Jan. 20 meeting with representatives of Paribu, Binance Turkey and Btc Turk.
He reiterated they would prefer a framework law text in order to leave room for quick amendments with guidelines in a rapidly changing environment. He also strongly denied that a 40-percent tax would be imposed on cryptocurrency earnings.
Recalling that they have already been paying taxes for all transactions and other operations, cryptocurrency platform representatives noted that only exchange platforms based abroad should be obliged to pay a new cryptocurrency tax.
Those cryptocurrency firms should also be required to establish a technology infrastructure inside Turkey so that they could be hold accountable, they added.
On Jan. 3, Btc Turk CEO Özgür Güneri said that they paid 965 million Turkish Liras (around $71.8 million) in taxes last year.
The total transaction volume of Btc Turk in 2021 was 1.7 trillion liras with a daily volume of 4.7 billion liras ($349.5 million), according to his remarks.
The number of Btc Turk platform members increased by 3 million to 4.5 million last year. Btc Turk’s mobile application ranked 10th in Apptopia’s the world’s most downloaded crypto apps list for 2021.
Paribu, which also has more than 4 million users, increased its paid-in capital to 40 million liras (nearly $3 million) last year and established a blockchain tecnology company with a paid-in capital of 50 million liras ($3.7 million).
Daily trading volume on Binance Turkey is around $320 million, according to CoinGecko. More than 30 cryptocurrency platforms are operating in Turkey.
On Dec. 27, 2021, the Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) fined Binance, or BN Teknoloji, 8 million Turkish Liras (nearly $595,000) in the first move against a cryptocurrency platform by a watchdog.
On May 4, 2021, MASAK released a guide for crypto asset service providers. Under the guidelines, crypto exchange platforms are entitled to verify the identities of subscribers, to report suspicious transactions and high-volume trading.
The Central Bank’s ban on using cryptocurrencies for making payments, which was introduced in response to claims that such transactions are too risky, took effect on April 30.