A financial institution and a coin-exchange platform in Kazakhstan have teamed up to carry out what they say is the country’s first such joint transaction for a cryptocurrency. Meanwhile, the leadership of Kazakhstan announced its readiness to further develop digital currency exchange in the country’s financial center.
The first crypto-asset banking operation opens the door for fiat purchases in Kazakhstan
Almaty-based Eurasian Bank and Kazakhstan’s crypto exchange Intebix have reported conducting what they presented as the country’s first crypto-related transaction involving a digital asset trading platform, a banking institution, and a customer. The deal, according to which the cryptocurrency was acquired through a local legal issuance, was announced at the Digital Bridge 2022 forum.
“This precedent makes it possible for Kazakhstan to legally purchase cryptocurrency in exchange for tenge, while the Eurasian Bank’s proprietary solution makes it possible to set one of the lowest fees in the world for such a transaction,” the bank said in a press release. Intebix Exchange Director Talgat Dosanov went further, saying:
This is the first bank-client cryptocurrency exchange transaction in the entire Eurasian continent.
In May this year, regulators approved pilot regulations allowing crypto transactions in Kazakhstan, under certain conditions. To participate in the project, crypto exchanges are required to obtain a license while banks need to abide by the approved rules. The government assures that the framework meets international standards regarding the supervision and security of transactions.
The process of buying cryptocurrencies using the Kazakh tenge is explained to the head of state. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev expressed the readiness of his administration to support the further development of the project to facilitate the exchange of crypto-assets in the Astana International Financial Center (AIFC), the financial center of the Central Asian country, if the experiment is successful.
Tokayev emphasized that Kazakhstan intends to become a leading player in the field of new digital technologies, the cryptocurrency ecosystem, and regulated digital mining. He was quoted as saying, “If this financial instrument shows more demand and security, it will surely get full legal recognition.”
The pilot project was launched at AIFC last summer when registered crypto exchanges were allowed to open accounts with local banks. Two trading platforms, Intebix (operating under the Biteeu brand in the EU and Australia) and Ataix Eurasia, as well as Halyk Bank, Altyn Bank and Eurasian Bank are participating in the tests. The pilot will last until the end of 2022.
The Eurasian Bank also announced a plan to issue a crypto card this year. It will be linked to the Intebix wallet and holders will be able to pay in Tenge while spending their cryptocurrency. The banking institution is currently working on the details with the National Bank of Kazakhstan. The Eurasian Bank ranks seventh among Kazakhstani banks in terms of assets and is a leader in the retail banking market.
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