Cryptocurrency Holders’ Rights Under Turkish Private Law: Do We Need New Laws or Regulations?

7 Baku St. U. L.Rev. 146 (2021)
Article language: English.


The cryptocurrency technology, which the cryptographers created more than a decade ago, is closely monitored by the governments. The governments focus more on imposing prohibitions, obligations, or liabilities, such as taxing the cryptocurrency holders’ earnings on cryptocurrency transactions or prohibiting using cryptocurrencies as a payment instrument, though they mostly disregard the cryptocurrency holders’ rights. In this context, this article aims to determine the cryptocurrency holders’ rights under Turkish private law and whether we need new laws or regulations to provide legal protection to the cryptocurrency holders. In this respect, we briefly inform the reader that we cannot apply the current property law to cryptocurrencies; thus, we cannot protect the cryptocurrency holders under the terms of the property law. We then analyze why we cannot categorize cryptocurrencies as money, bills of exchange, or securities, and thus cryptocurrencies do not provide their holders with the rights granted to the owners of these instruments. Moreover, we briefly confer the cryptocurrency holders’ rights to wills and testaments and matrimonial assets regimes. Then, we discuss the cryptocurrency holders’ rights issue in terms of the contractual rights and determine that digital transactions and initial coin offerings pose some legal problems. In contrast, electronic transactions grant certain rights to cryptocurrency holders as per the electronic commerce law. Lastly, we conclude that cryptocurrency holders have limited rights, so we need new laws backed by international treaties in the long term, and we need to strengthen the electronic commerce law in the short term.

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