Kazakhstan Takes A Stance: Blocks Nearly 1,000 Unregistered Crypto Exchanges

Kazakhstan’s Financial Monitoring Agency (FMA) has taken stringent measures in 2023, effectively blocking access to almost 1,000 crypto exchanges that lacked proper registration to operate within the country.

In a recent government announcement on December 7, the FMA disclosed its action against 980 unauthorized platforms, emphasizing its commitment to curb illegal exchange activities and combat money laundering. Ruslan Ostroumov, the FMA chairman, revealed these statistics during the Eurasian Group meeting on Money Laundering in China.

Regulatory Crackdown on Unlicensed Exchanges

The country’s Digital Assets Law, enforced in February 2023, mandates that digital currency creation and crypto trading activities must acquire national licensing. The Astana International Financial Center (AIFC), serving as a designated special economic zone in Kazakhstan, is responsible for granting preliminary approval for such operations.

The extensive list of blocked unlicensed exchanges notably includes several prominent international platforms. In a November development, access to Coinbase’s website was barred for Kazakh citizens following a government order from the Ministry of Culture and Information. Ministry representatives clarified that the request originated from the Ministry of Digital Development, citing Coinbase’s violation of the Digital Assets Law.

Approved Operators in Kazakhstan

Amid the stringent measures, a select few platforms have gained approval to operate in Kazakhstan’s regulatory framework. Companies such as Binance, Bybit, CaspianEx, Biteeu, ATAIX, Upbit, and Xignal&MT have secured authorization to conduct crypto operations within the country.

The FMA’s active measures highlight Kazakhstan’s commitment to enforcing stringent regulatory compliance in the cryptocurrency sphere, emphasizing the need for proper registration and compliance with the nation’s Digital Assets Law.

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