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Legal Alerts

16/04/2021

CBRT Bans Payments with Cryptocurrencies

Legal Alerts
Banking & Finance
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Recent Development

Crypto assets had not been regulated in Turkey until today. The Regulation Prohibiting Payments With Crypto Assets (“Regulation“) published in the Official Gazette today is the first piece of legislation regulating these digital assets. With the Regulation, the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (“CBRT“) banned payments with crypto assets. The Regulation will enter into force on April 30, 2021.

What Does the Regulation Say? 

The Regulation defines crypto assets as intangible assets that are created virtually using distributed ledger or similar technologies and are distributed over digital networks, and that are not qualified as money, registered money, electronic money, payment instrument, security or any other capital markets instrument.

According to the Regulation:

  • Crypto assets cannot be used directly or indirectly for payments.
  • Services regarding direct or indirect use of crypto assets in payments are prohibited. Crypto assets cannot be used in the provision of payment services or electronic money issuances.
  • Payment services and electronic money institutions are prohibited from intermediating (i) the transfer of funds to platforms that offer trading, custody, transfer or issuance services regarding crypto assets, and (ii) the transfer of funds from these platforms.

Conclusion

The CBRT prohibits payments with crypto assets by introducing an absolute per se ban. While the Regulation does not prohibit trading in crypto assets, it eliminates their use as a payment tool.