Turkey gears up for crypto regulation focused on consumer safety and innovation

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21st February 2024 – (Ankara) Turkey is on track to establish a new regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies, with an emphasis on consumer protection and encouragement of innovation, Ömer İleri, the deputy chairman of the country’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and overseer of Information and Communication Technologies, disclosed in a recent interview with CoinDesk Turkey.

In a series of discussions with cryptocurrency industry stakeholders, including legal experts and media representatives, İleri revealed the government’s dual aim for the upcoming legislation. “Our primary objective is to protect our citizens and investors, to regulate the platforms, and simultaneously to draft a law that facilitates innovative growth,” he asserted.

The deputy chairman’s remarks align with Turkey’s broader ambitions in the technology sector, with blockchain and artificial intelligence being areas of significant interest. Initiatives such as Blockchain Istanbul and the Forum Metaverse, championed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s administration, are indicative of the government’s proactive approach to the burgeoning blockchain industry.

This January, Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek indicated that the government was finalising technical studies for the proposed cryptocurrency legislative package. İleri underscored the importance of a “legal study” of digital assets, stating that it is essential for ensuring consumer safety and fostering a conducive environment for technological innovation.

Tuesday’s meeting with sector representatives proved to be highly constructive, according to İleri. “The exchange of views on the current state of the sector was exceptionally fruitful. There was a consensus on the considerations that the draft should address. It’s clear that there is a shared vision throughout this process,” he commented.

The developments come at a time when Turkey’s interest in digital currencies and blockchain technology is growing, reflecting a global trend towards the integration of these innovations into mainstream financial systems. The legislative package, when unveiled, will be closely scrutinized for its potential impact on the cryptocurrency market in Turkey and the broader region.