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Ahmet Usta decodes Turkey’s blanket ban on crypto payments

Turkey flag behind crypto in a basket

Turkey’s crypto ban is  a “how-not-to-do” rather than a “how-to”, explained the expert

Last week, the central bank of the Republic of Turkey announced a ban on “any direct or indirect usage of crypto assets in payment services and electronic money issuance” leading to digital assets users in Turkey losing all means of payment via cryptocurrency in the country.

The regulation, set to go into effect from the 30th of April, also bans the use of digital wallet providers as fiat on-ramps for crypto exchanges.

Ahmet Usta, chief editor of Blockchain Turkey Platform and co-author of Blockchain 101, in a conversation with CoinTelegraph Turkey, explained what the ban means for Turkey in particular and the crypto industry in general.  Usta described the ban as a “how-not-to-do” rather than a “how-to.”

He explained that the central bank’s ban on cryptocurrency payments will essentially mean a prohibition of two services.

“The first one is to use crypto to pay for anything. The second one is specifically for payments providers and e-money companies. It prohibits providing crypto-asset trading, storage, transfer and export services and fund transfers made on these platforms,” the crypto expert said.

Usta pointed out that the only positive take away from the recent announcement for the crypto community is that the ban defined crypto assets within a legal framework for the first time in Turkey.

Crypto assets were not just defined as “money” but they were classified as any “intangible assets that are virtually generated using a distributed ledger or a similar technology and distributed over digital networks”.

However, Usta believes that any advantages of this for Turkey will be lost as the negative tone of the announcement damages both Turkey’s reliability and its international standing on cryptocurrency.

“In the debate of using crypto assets in international trade, declaring that it’s not an instrument of payment may lead to problems later on,” he added.

The expert predicted that the current announcement is Turkey’s first step towards crypto taxes. Calling a tax regulation inevitable, Usta pointed out that the ban on payment and electronic money establishments can be interpreted as a foreshadow for taxation from source through the banks.

Çağla Gül Şenkardeş, founding member of Istanbul Blockchain Women and founder of consulting firm Durugoru, echoed Usta’s sentiments towards the ban and questioned the permanency of such a regulation. She further pointed out that the ban will hinder the developer role that Turkey had assumed with regard to the distributed ledger technology industry.

“We had many international blockchain and crypto companies as clients that were planning to invest in Turkey, and they will surely reevaluate their plans after the central bank’s regulation,” she told CoinTelegraph Turkey.

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