According to local news agency Informburo, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said on September 28 that Kazakhstan was ready to legalize a mechanism to convert cryptocurrencies into cash should there be demand.
Speaking at the Digital Bridge 2022 International Forum, Tokayev emphasized that Kazakhstan aims to become an international leader in digital technologies, the cryptocurrency ecosystem and regulated mining. He noted that the Government of Kazakhstan has prepared a draft amendment to the national law to pilot the digital currency conversion mechanism at the Astana International Financial Center.
“We are ready to move on. If this financial instrument shows great importance and security, it will definitely receive full legal recognition, Tokayev said.
It is reported that the head of state visited the joint stand of a major domestic creditor of the Eurasian Bank and the Intebix crypto exchange at the Digital Bridge 2022 event.
According to local reports, Eurasian Bank and Intebix announced that they have jointly completed the first regulated fiat purchase of cryptocurrency by a bank. This precedent was a milestone in the introduction of cryptocurrencies in Kazakhstan, allowing Kazakhs to legally purchase cryptocurrencies with the national currency.
Other companies in crypto pilot projects include cryptocurrency exchanges such as ATAIX, as well as the largest banks in Kazakhstan, Halyk Bank and Altyn Bank.
The news comes as thousands of Russians travel into Kazakhstan just a week after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization of reservists to fight in Ukraine. On September 21, Halyk Bank suspended the use of Russian Mir payment cards due to warnings of sanctions from the US Treasury Department.
Kazakhstan is not the only country that has become a popular destination for Russians who leave the country and work to promote cryptocurrency. Neighboring Georgia is also moving towards introducing new cryptocurrency regulations to become a global cryptocurrency hub.
See also: Russian officials agreed to use cryptocurrency for cross-border payments
While countries like Georgia and Kazakhstan appear to be welcoming crypto along with Russians fleeing the mobilization, Europe is increasingly concerned that Russians are turning to crypto to access their money. After capping Russian payments to European crypto wallets in April at €10,000, the EU is now also planning to ban Russian citizens and organizations from holding assets in EU crypto wallets.
As previously reported, Russia has been heavily dependent on its currency infrastructure to conduct cryptocurrency transactions. The Bank of Russia has repeatedly stated that the country should not legalize any domestic cryptocurrency exchanges.