Adding to its recent moves to close in on what it sees as cryptocurrency’s potential to facilitate criminal activity,the Turkish government has announced that cryptocurrency exchanges in the country must report any transactions that exceeds 10,000 Turkish lira (equivalent to $1,200) to the government's financial crime agency, according to a report from Decrypt.
Announcing the decision on the national channel CNN Türk, Turkey's treasury and finance minister Lütfi Elvan noted that exchanges would have a timeframe of ten days to report customers who carry out transactions that exceed this benchmark.
The minister maintained that the government doesn’t think that cryptocurrency traders have malicious intent, but that its anti-money laundering (AML) rules are modelled after those of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international standard-setter for AML regulations.
“People must educate themselves about crypto,” Elvan said, adding that "I often hear from citizens who invest in crypto, and when I ask them what crypto is, they often have no idea.”
However, the minister didn't reveal when the new rule would take effect.
The new rule is just one part of Turkey’s quickly-evolving regulatory environment regarding the use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. In April, it banned the use of cryptocurrency payment services, citing a lack of mechanisms for central authority supervision of such payments. Later that month, reports surfaced indicating that the country would establish a central bank custodian for cryptocurrency exchanges, following apparent exit scams by the operators of two local exchanges.
Meanwhile, the lira has lost significant value in the last year, making bitcoin an attractive option to citizens in the face of these increased regulatory barriers to using it.