Binance Eyes First Steps Into Kazakhstan Following in-Principle Approval

The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume has received in-principle approval from the financial authority of the capital of Kazakhstan.

The Astana Financial Services Authority (AFSA) granted Binance Holdings Ltd. an in-principle approval to operate a digital asset trading facility and provide custody in the Astana International Financial Center (AIFC), according to an announcement on the company’s blog. However, in order to actually provide these services, Binance will still be required to complete the full application process.

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“Kazakhstan has shown itself to be a pioneer in Central Asia crypto adoption and regulation,” said Changpeng Zhao (CZ), founder and CEO of Binance. “This further signifies Binance’s commitment to being a compliance-first exchange and providing products and services in a safe and well-regulated environment across the globe.”  

AFSA is a unique body serving as an independent regulator within the AIFC that regulates activities relating to digital assets in Kazakhstan. AIFC has been able to establish itself as the leading platform for the development of digital asset services in the region thanks to the robust regulatory framework governing fintech provided by AFSA. 

“We believe that Binance’s work will further develop this vibrant ecosystem of digital assets industry locally and regionally,” said Nurkhat Kushimov, Chief Executive Officer of AFSA. Recently, Binance has also managed to secure registration in France, Italy, and Spain, after a slew of approvals in the Middle East earlier this year.

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Crypto in Kazakhstan

Recently, authorities in Kazakhstan apprehended 23 people accused of coercing an IT professional into running an illegal cryptocurrency mining operation. The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Kazakhstan’s national security service raided a cryptocurrency mining operation in the Talgar district of the Almaty region during a search for illegal mining farms, according to a report from the Ministry of the Interior.

Since becoming one of the more popular places in the world to mine cryptocurrencies due to its low energy prices, Kazakhstan was forced to introduce restrictions as the country’s grid struggled with an energy crisis earlier this year. Consequently, authorities have been trying to root out illegal crypto mining operations.

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