Turkey adds crypto firms to terror funding regulations

The presidential decree adds cryptocurrency exchanges to anti-money laundering and terrorism financing rules.

Following the slump of the Turkish lira against the US dollar, many people have looked to cryptocurrencies to shelter against inflation [File: Chris McGrath/Getty Images]

Turkey has added cryptocurrency trading platforms to the list of firms covered by anti-money laundering and terrorism financing regulation, according to a presidential decree.

The Official Gazette said on Saturday 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 – Thodex and Vebitcoin.

Six suspects linked to the Thodex probe were jailed on Friday pending trial.

The investigation into Thodex, which handled daily trades of hundreds of millions of dollars, initially led to the arrests of 83 people after customers complained of not being able to access their funds.

Interpol issued a detention warrant for the firm’s CEO, Faruk Fatih Ozer, who is sought by Turkish authorities after he travelled to Albania.

People in Turkey have been increasingly attracted by cryptocurrencies as protection against the decline of the lira and double-digit inflation.

Source: News Agencies