Lessons from Turkey’s Crypto Community on Fighting Regulation
There is a lot to be learned about both government designs on regulating crypto and how the crypto community can respond to it if you look at the Turkish experience.
In December 2021, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged his government to push through a bill to regulate cryptocurrency, and subsequently a draft copy allegedly backed by the country’s ruling party of the bill was leaked on social media.
“This proposed legislation sought to restrict international exchanges from operating in Turkey and ban the use of self-custody wallets – in the name of protecting the local currency against capital outflow. AKP never officially accepted that the leaked bill was drafted by the government, but many believed the bill was indeed written by a team close to the president and leaked on purpose to judge reactions.”
The crypto community in Turkey did not respond well. The outrage prompted the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to meet with the members of the crypto community.
“The ruling party’s officials and bureaucrats attending the meeting did not express their views on either the draft legislation or the proposals expressed by the crypto communities at that time. However, the government postponed the bill for apparently political reasons.
“Turkey's general elections will be held in June 2023, if not earlier as speculated in November 2022. AKP executives most likely advised the government officials to engage with crypto communities because they are relatively young voters keen on their freedoms.
With the future of the AKP in the balance in the next election, the party quickly decided not to pass the bill, fearing strong voter backlash.
The article has more details on what happened, but we think if crypto people in a country as democratically compromised as Turkey can stop heavy-handed, industry-choking regulation, it can certainly be done in the U.S.
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