The director of Kazakhstan’s Astana International Financial Center (AIFC) has backed calls for crypto regulations. AIFC is Kazakhstan’s hub for all things related to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Faced with potential government crackdowns, the AIFC (a central government-backed initiative) recognizes that these crackdowns and even potential bans on all cryptocurrency trading will significantly impact the AIFC and Kazakhstan’s growing crypto community. To prevent major upheaval, The head of Kazakhstan’s Astana International Financial Center (AIFC), the country’s hub of all things blockchain and cryptocurrency-related, has backed calls for crypto regulations as the government continues to press ahead with a potential crackdown.
The center – a central government-backed initiative – has seen the likes of financial giant Deloitte and blockchain provider Waves move in, with the latter’s CEO calling Kazakhstan “the Singapore of blockchain.”
However, beginning in February this year, the government changed its tack on cryptocurrencies, with the central bank talking of a ban on crypto trading and mining – which would likely cause major issues for the AIFC and the country’s growing crypto-community. AIFC officials have claimed they believe the government will “approve the regulations and start working with them beginning in summer this year.”
Speaking at a blockchain event in the capital, Kairat Kaliyev, the AIFC’s Managing Director, stated per media outlet Kazinform, “In terms of fintech, we are paying special attention to blockchain technology, as well as [cryptocurrencies]. The [cryptocurrency] regulation problem is being discussed very intensively now. The AIFC has a very firm position on this issue: We believe it is crucial to regulate the circulation of [cryptocurrencies].”
The governor of Kazakhstan’s main financial hub has stated that while cryptocurrencies must be regulated, crypto and blockchain innovation will be supported, local news outlet Kazinform reports today, June 14.
Speaking at the “Blockchain Conference Astana,” the Astana International Financial Center’s (AIFC) governor Kairat Kaliyev said specifically that the AIFC is paying special attention blockchain and cryptocurrencies:
“The problem of regulation of cryptocurrencies is being discussed very intensively. The AIFC has a solid position on this issue – it is crucial to regulate the circulation of cryptocurrencies.”
According to Kazinform, the AIFC’s Regulatory Authority plans to approve rules for crypto regulations this summer. Kaliyev notes that the center is working with international companies to develop appropriate regulation, also adding that the center provides financial assistance to support fintech innovation and arranges courses for blockchain and programming.
The AIFC is a free economic zone created with the intent to attract international trade and increase Kazakhstan’s role in global markets. The AIFC website refers to fintech development as “one of the main strategic directions activities [sic]” of the financial hub.
At the end of May, Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev called for international cooperation for cryptocurrency regulation. The Kazakhstani public has also shown increased interest in cryptocurrency. A study released by search engine Yandex in March showed that Kazakhstanis were searching for crypto-related terms more this year than in 2017.