Kazakhstan embraces crypto exchanges, will allow transfers to bank accounts
Kazakhstan is working on a pilot crypto project that will allow exchanges to operate legally in the Astana International Finance Centre (AIFC).
Officially launched in 2018, AIFC is a Nur-Sultan-based financial hub for the countries of Central Asia, the Caucasus, Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the Middle East, Western China, Mongolia and Europe.
Kazakhstan has been focused on growing its digital asset ecosystem and bolstering crypto adoption through mining regulation and new pro-crypto initiatives.
This latest move is set to be a collaboration between exchange platforms and local banks, to allow the former to legally handle digital assets including cryptocurrencies.
The announcement of the pilot project follows Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao’s visit to Kazakhstan. The company has been assisting in the development of regulations alongside key ministries.
With this initiative, crypto exchanges will be granted licences by the Astana Financial Service Authority (AFSA) to open bank accounts with Kazakh lenders.
The project was introduced by the country’s Ministry of Digital Development, Innovations and Aerospace Industry, while guidelines for the cooperation were drawn up by the Ministry of Digital Development, the National Bank, the Financial Monitoring Agency, the Association of Financiers, AIFC, and market stakeholders.
According to the Head of AFSA, Nurhat Kushimov, the committee conducts thorough research on crypto companies before giving out a licence and maintains constant supervision of its activities thereafter.
The newly-announced scheme will be running until the end of 2022 and includes only licensed exchanges.
Like many other crypto mining powerhouses, Kazakhstan has its eyes on becoming an international crypto hub, and if this venture proves successful, neighbouring countries may follow suit.
The central Asian nation is the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency miner, with a hash rate share amounting to 18.1%.