Kazakhstan to let crypto exchanges open bank accounts

In addition to its swift advances toward regulating crypto mining, Kazakhstan will launch a pilot project for crypto exchanges in the special economic zone of Astana International Finance Centre. 

The Ministry of Digital Development, Innovations and Aerospace Industry of Kazakhstan Republic announced on Thursday a pilot project of cooperation between the crypto exchanges and some of the local banks.

The working group formulated the guidelines for that cooperation, consisting of the representatives of the Ministry of Digital Development, the National Bank, the Financial Monitoring Agency, the Association of Financiers, Astana International Finance Centre and the finance and crypto market stakeholders. 

The pilot project will be functioning until the end of 2022 and include the exchanges that have gained a license from the freshly-formed Astana Financial Service Authority (AFSA). It will make a blueprint for the subsequent development of Kazakhstan as a regional crypto hub. Close guidelines should soon be published on the AIFC webpage.

Head of AFSA Nurhat Kushimov declared that the mission of his committee is to create an environment for reliable and sustainable companies to operate:

“The Astana Financial Service Authority is the only entity responsible for regulating the fintech companies’ activities in Kazakhstan. Before handing out the license to a fintech company, we conduct a deep and thorough background check, and after that maintain its constant supervision.”

Bagdat Musin, the minister of digital development, voiced Kazakhstan’s aim to profit off crypto exchanges:

“It is necessary to create a complete ecosystem, so the digital assets, that have been mined using Kazakhstan’s electric energy, would be traded at the local exchanges to the maximum extent and the profit would stay in the country”.

On May 25, the Kazakh parliament passed in the first reading the amendments to the national tax code to impose a crypto mining tax tied to the electricity prices consumed by mining entities.

Related: Bitcoin miners’ resilience to geopolitics: A healthy sign for the network

On the same day, the largest crypto exchange Binance signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Digital Development and revealed an intention to advise on developing the legislative framework and regulatory policy for crypto-assets in the republic.

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