Kazakhstan's Astana aims to become international blockchain hub

Kazakhstan's Astana aims to become international blockchain hub
The new Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) wants to develop a 'crypto-valley' at the $5bn site of the EXPO-2017 green energy fair.
By bne IntelliNews October 18, 2017

The Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) and Malta-based investment company EXANTE have signed a memorandum of cooperation on developing Kazakhstan’s cryptocurrency markets as well as “positioning the AIFC as an international financial technology centre”, EXANTE announced on October 17.

Kazakhstan is one of several countries in the former Soviet space keen to develop its fintech sector and benefit from cryptocurrency technologies. Kazakhstan started working on a regulatory apparatus for cryptocurrency controls in August, while both Russia and Ukraine have also thrown themselves into the blockchain craze as their authorities look at ways of regulating cryptocurrency use. 

According to the agreement, EXANTE will launch the Stasis platform, a financial and technological infrastructure for launching digital assets, which allows fiat currencies to be tokenised into their digital versions via blockchain. EXANTE also agreed to cooperate with the AIFC on cryptocurrency market regulations and to support the evolution of the Kazakh capital Astana’s “fintech-ecosystem”.

"Astana's top financial regulators have already started working, laying the foundations for Kazakhstan's fintech-ecosystem,” said the governor of the AIFC, ex-central bank governor Kairat Kelimbetov. “We believe that the AIFC can become an international hub for blockchain operations, so the development of crypto asset markets is our key priority in the near future."

"The Global Money Supply (M2) figure is growing at 6% per year and stands at about $50 trillion currently (ex China),” commented Gregory Klumov, co-founder and CEO of Stasis. “The digital assets market will double every two years till at least 2021. We are working on a backbone of the blockchain world, that will close the gap between emerging decentralised finance and the people.”

The AIFC announced in September its intention to develop a 'crypto-valley' in Astana’s planned central business district, which will be located, along with the AIFC, in the segment of the city where Astana hosted the EXPO-2017 green energy event.

Its task will be to encourage investments by creating an attractive environment for investing in financial services and developing the local securities market.

The centre, in collaboration with Deloitte, Waves, Ukrainian law firm Justcutum and Kesarev Consulting, hopes to create a "highly progressive regulatory framework" for blockchain and cryptocurrency companies, Bitcoin.com reported in July.