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Central Asian nations in race to develop crypto sector

 Central Asian nations in race to develop crypto sector

Central Asian nations are embracing the crypto business at light speed. These governments have opened international finance centres (IFCs) and have put in place regulators to monitor the operations of the crypto exchanges in their respective countries.

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Bybit, the world’s third most visited crypto exchange, on Monday received in principle approval by Kazakhstan’s Astana Financial Services Authority (AFSA). This latest approval highlights Bybit’s continued commitment to expanding its presence in emerging and dynamic markets.

This approval subjects Bybit to pre-conditions leading to permanent authorization upon Bybit’s completion of the full application process. With this, Bybit will be allowed to operate a Digital Asset Trading Facility and provide Custody Services at the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) in Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan is a gateway to the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), a fast-growing market that is rapidly embracing cryptocurrencies. The region has established itself as a hub for cryptocurrencies, mining, and blockchain development. Bybit recognizes the potential of this market and is excited to offer its services to customers in Kazakhstan and CIS.

Ben Zhou, co-founder, and CEO of Bybit, said that it was their primary objective to operate business in compliance with relevant rules and regulations. Bybit firmly supports the regulatory objective of establishing a compliant, secure, and transparent cryptocurrency industry to benefit users.

Ben Zhou further said: “We are delighted to receive the approval from AFSA. We believe in the promising potential of the CIS and are eager to open our world-class trading platform for crypto enthusiasts in the region. We are committed to continuing to improve the cryptocurrency industry’s standards and provide a valuable experience to our customers.”

Bybit is committed to operating in line with regulatory frameworks and aspires to have a presence in the AIFC, which leads the way as a progressive fintech jurisdiction and provides a regulatory framework for crypto in CIS countries.

It may be recalled that Kazakhstan has initiated a test pilot project for the creation and operation of cryptocurrency exchanges in the AIFC. The Centre was launched in 2018 and designed to develop Kazakhstan’s non-banking financial sector and become a financial hub for Central Asia. According to its website, there are more than 1000 companies registered there.

Uzbekistan joins crypto race

Uzbekistan’s National Agency of Perspective Projects (NAPP) granted licences to two entities established to offer cryptocurrency exchange in November last year. Crypto Trade NET and Crypto Market have been registered as “service providers in the field of crypto assets turnover,” NAPP said.

NAPP is the nodal agency to regulate the country’s crypto sector and claimed that Uzbekistan is one of the few countries in the world that has a well-formed framework for regulating the circulation of crypto assets.

The regulator recalled several presidential decrees and resolutions issued to determine its responsibilities and develop the country’s digital economy, including the crypto space. They introduced rules for the licensing of businesses dealing with cryptocurrencies.

Uzbekistan already has one cryptocurrency exchange Uznex, which is controlled by the government and the two licensed companies will work as digital money exchangers or “crypto shops” as defined by the regulations. 

Binance’s MoU

Binance, the world’s leading cryptocurrency and blockchain infrastructure provider, also signed an MoU with Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Digital Development, Innovations and Aerospace Industry last year and both parties expressed mutual interest in virtual asset market development in the country.

With the MoU, Binance will advise on developing the legislative framework and regulatory policy for crypto assets in Kazakhstan. As part of the deal, both parties will also seek opportunities to integrate banking infrastructure within the cryptocurrency market and facilitate the development and implementation of distributed ledger technology. They will also support Astana Hub among local and international talent, which will allow the creation of a regional blockchain hub.

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