Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has asked ministers to create “facilitation” for a new “digital” ecosystem using “cryptocurrency and digital assets”.
According to Per Kaztag, quoting the presidential press service, Tokayev spoke at a summit on the financial sector held at the Astana International Financial Center yesterday.
The state-run center is already home to a number of crypto-related companies, including many in the mining sector. Kazakhstan, which provides industries with relatively low-cost access to electricity, also experiences cold winters – making it an ideal location for many miners.
This, coupled with a relatively pro-business approach to cryptocurrency mining regulation, has led to growth in the mining sector in the country in recent years – with many bitcoin miners (BTC) moved to Kazakhstan from China following a Beijing-led crypto crackdown last year.
But it seems Tokayev is not content with just allowing miners to open stores in the country and tax their income.
The president stated that the country “must make the most of” its “potential” in the cryptocurrency sector.
“Our country is the second largest cryptocurrency producer in the world. However, we should not just stick to the status quo, where we focus on raw [supplying] raw materials [energy]. To this end, the government together with financial regulators and the Astana International Financial Center need to create favorable conditions for the development of a comprehensive digital ecosystem.”
Some of the highest-ranking national and international officials from the financial industry attended the conference. Representatives from both the private and public sectors were present.
Tokayev’s comments come just a month after the Chairman met with the CEO of crypto exchange Binance Changpeng “CZ” Zhao at Nur-Sultan.
The duo talked about “the possibility of creating a regional hub for the crypto industry in Kazakhstan,” Interfax reported.
Zhao signed a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Digital Development, Innovation and Aerospace, with Binance and the department committed to supporting the development of the Astana International Financial Center.
The parties also discussed the “prospects of long-term cooperation” in the field of “digital finance” and promised to launch “joint education programs” to teach citizens more about blockchain technology.
Elsewhere in Central Asia, Uzbekistan has also shown that it can also seek to incentivize miners to start operating in the country – but only if they use green energy to do so. A recent government decree, authorized by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, indicated that the country was ready to “develop the digital economy and the field of cryptocurrency circulation”.
The government has announced measures that will see miners forced to go solar – and use their own power-generating hardware.
Cryptocurrency mining, the government wrote, is performed only by “legal entities” using “electrical energy provided by a solar photovoltaic power plant.”
To qualify as “legitimate” miners, companies must apply to become members of the national registry of approved cryptocurrency miners. Certificates of approval are valid for one year after initial registration, after which they will need to be renewed.