New amendments recently signed by the Kazakhstan President may help to strengthen the energy grid upgrade while keeping overall prices relatively low.
Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev recently spoke at the international symposium Digital Bridge 2022, emphasizing Kazakhstan’s ambition to become a leader in blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and regulated mining. President Tokayev stated that the government had amended Kazakhstan’s national law in order to test a mechanism for converting cryptocurrency at the country’s financial hub.
President Tokayev stated, “Currency conversion is already being carried out at the site of the Astana International Financial Center under a special pilot project. For this, quite innovative changes were made to national legislation and the regulatory environment. And we are ready to go further. If this financial instrument shows its further demand and security, then it will certainly receive full legal recognition.”
The pilot project in question explored the opening of accounts for crypto exchanges and their clients in Kazakhstani banks. The project includes the crypto exchanges ATAIX Eurasia and Biteeu Eurasia, as well as Halyk Bank, Altyn Bank, and Eurasian Bank.
IMPACT OF THE RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR
The news comes just a week after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization of Russian reservists to fight in Ukraine. This triggered a frenzied rush for the country’s borders by the tens of thousands affected by the order. On September 21, Halyk Bank suspended the use of Russia’s Mir payment cards in response to U.S. Treasury Department sanctions warnings.
The migration wave from Russia could be one of the reasons Kazakhstan focused on cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrencies have proven to be a popular financial tool in war-torn countries. Before the war, some Ukrainians who believed that digital assets could help them with their financial problems fled to countries with crypto-friendly policies, such as Portugal.
Kazakhstan is not the only crypto-friendly nation that has emerged as a terminus for Russians fleeing the country. Georgia borders have also seen an influx of Russian nationals looking to evade the recently implemented draft. Like Kazakhstan, Georgia has also joined the race to become a global crypto hub by working to implement new crypto regulations, having recently adopted anti-money laundering standards.
KAZAKHSTAN’S NEWFOUND STANCE ON CRYPTO
Kazakhstan is no stranger to crypto. According to a documentary from the BBC, Kazakhstan hosts one of the largest Bitcoin mining farms in the world, housing a vast mine containing 50,000 computers in just one place.
However, Kazakhstan reportedly has a history of tracking down mining operations that lack proper licensing to reduce the load on the country’s energy grid. Back in March, Kazakhstan closed 106 mines, taking 67,000 machines worth $193 million.
The government mandated cryptocurrency miners to register their operations with authorities in May.
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