Digital Currency

Kazakhstan now lets registered digital currency exchanges open bank accounts

Kazakhstan continues to promote policies that will make it more digital currency friendly. The Kazakh Ministry of Digital Development, Innovation, and Aerospace Industry has announced the launch of a pilot project that will let digital currency exchanges gain access to the country’s banking sector. 

In an announcement, the ministry stated that exchanges that will be eligible to join the pilot project are those registered in the country’s special economic zone—the Astana International Financial Center (AIFC). These exchanges can open bank accounts with local banks classified as second-tier banks (STBs). 

The pilot project is a collaboration between several entities, including the National Bank of Kazakhstan, the Agency for Regulation and Development of Financial Markets, the Agency for Financial Monitoring, the Association of Financiers of Kazakhstan, and Astana International Financial Center, as well as members of the banking and digital assets market.

The pilot will run until the end of 2022 and is intended to inform more permanent regulations that the government will introduce in the future. It also gives oversight function to a newly formed licensing agency— the Astana Financial Services Agency (AFSA). 

According to Nurhat Kushimov, Director General of AFSA, the agency’s goal is to create a stable environment for digital currency firms to operate while protecting consumers. 

“The AIFC Financial Services Regulatory Committee is the only body in Kazakhstan that regulates the activities of fintech companies… Our goal is to create an environment in which stable companies operate based on customer trust,” Kushimov said.

At present, the industry expects broader rules for the pilot project to be published on the website of the AFSA soon. 

Kazakhstan provides all-encompassing rules for the digital assets industry 

Kazakhstan is also making significant progress in providing regulations for its significantly large block reward mining industry, passing new tax laws for block reward miners, as well as established rules for the firms to register and report their operations in the country. These are aimed at regulating the electricity consumption of the industry. 

In a recent interview, the governor of the National Bank of Kazakhstan assured that the country is on track to fully harness the benefits of the digital currency industry. He added that the central bank does not consider itself late in providing regulations.

Watch: The BSV Global Blockchain Convention panel, Blockchain in Middle East & South Asia

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