In December 2022, Kazakhstan initiated a pilot project to facilitate interaction between AIFC crypto exchanges and Kazakh STBs. Yerkegali Yedenbayev, Managing Director of Licensing and Financial Technologies Office at AIFC, discussed the project's outcomes, QazMonitor reports citing the press service of the Digital and Space Ministry.
As part of the annual Digital Almaty 2024 International Forum, various industry experts held a briefing titled "Completion of the pilot project on the interaction of crypto exchanges with second-tier banks".
The briefing also featured Gizzat Baitursynov, Director of the Department of Electronic Industry Development and Digital Asset Industry, Maksat Shagdarov, Head of the Financial Market Abuse Prevention Department of the ARDFM.
In June 2021, the First Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan approved the Roadmap for the development of the crypto industry and blockchain technologies in the country. A working group of government agencies was formed to execute a pilot project on the interaction of AIFC crypto exchanges with Kazakh second-tier banks.
Gizzat Baitursynov, Director of the Department of Electronic Industry Development and Digital Asset Industry of the Digital and Space Ministry said: "The key objective of the project was to establish a regulated environment for trading in unsecured digital assets, crucial for safeguarding the rights of both retail and professional investors in Kazakhstan… [Within a year and a half], we managed to establish effective cooperation mechanisms between AIFC crypto exchanges and Kazakh STBs, contributing to the establishment of an appropriate regulatory framework."
Upon completion, the pilot project involved six crypto exchanges — Binance Kazakhstan, Biteeu Eurasia Ltd., Top Line Limited, Upbit Eurasia Ltd., Bybit Limited, ATAIX Eurasia Ltd. Eight second-tier banks also took part in the project: Altyn Bank JSC, Halyk Bank of Kazakhstan JSC, Bank CenterCredit JSC, Eurasian Bank JSC, Nurbank JSC, Islamic Bank "Zaman Bank" JSC, Bereke Bank JSC, Bank Freedom Finance Kazakhstan JSC".
During the pilot project period, the total turnover amounted to $239 million, with 63,000 transactions and 52,800 customers.
The successful pilot project implementation resulted in the introduction of the procedure and mechanism for interaction between unsecured digital asset exchanges and AIFC participants, possessing licenses for digital asset-related activities, and second-tier banks of Kazakhstan. These measures are expected to further bolster the crypto industry in Kazakhstan and enhance the country's appeal as a financial innovation hub.