Turkey Drafting Wider Crypto Regulations, Probe Launched into Another Exchange After it Ceases Activities

After Thodex was abruptly shut down, Vebitcoin abruptly stopped all its activities as well. An investigation has been launched in both the crypto exchanges, and several people have already been detained.

The Finance Minister of Turkey is working on broader regulations regarding cryptocurrencies, said Central Bank Governor Sahap Kavcioglu on Friday.

However, the bank does not intend to ban crypto, he added.

Some details on regulations would be ready as early as in two weeks, Kavcioglu said in an interview with Turkish broadcasters. Recently, the central bank banned the use of cryptos as payments, citing volatility along with “irreparable” damage and transaction risks.

This latest move towards regulating digital assets came after crypto exchange Thodex abruptly shut down, making hundreds of millions of dollars worth of crypto assets irretrievable.

Thodex recorded about $538 million in volume on its last trading day.

The authorities have detained dozens of people in the investigation into the exchange and sought its founder’s arrest in Albania, police said on Friday.

As we reported earlier this week, the Thodex platform said on its website that it would be closed for four to five days due to a sale process. After people were unable to make any withdrawals or access their accounts, they filed criminal complaints saying they had been scammed.

Police launched raids across eight provinces on Friday with warrants to arrest 78 suspects, the Istanbul police said. Sixty-two people have been detained so far, reported the state-owned news agency Anadolu.

A day earlier, the officials searched the company’s Istanbul offices and seized materials.

According to the police, the company’s founder and CEO, Faruk Fatih Ozer, had flown to the Albanian capital Tirana on Tuesday. Interpol then issued a red notice for Ozer.

Amidst all this, a probe has been launched into another cryptocurrency exchange Vebitcoin, a local prosecutor said on Saturday.

Turkish authorities blocked the onshore bank accounts of Vebitcoin and detained four people as part of the investigation. This action was taken after the exchange announced that it had stopped all activities, citing financial issues. The notice on the exchange reads,

“Due to the recent developments in the crypto money industry, our transactions have become much more intense than expected. We would like to state with regret that this situation has led us to a very difficult process in the financial field. We have decided to cease our activities in order to fulfill all regulations and claims.”

The Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) has blocked the company's accounts and started an investigation, reported Anadolu.

“Four administrators and personnel of the company were detained on Saturday on allegations of fraud,” Mehmet Nadir Yagci, a prosecutor in the southwestern city of Mugla, said in a statement.

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