The Almaty-based Eurasian Bank and the Kazakhstan-based cryptocurrency exchange Intebix have announced performing what they claim to be the nation’s first cryptocurrency-related transaction involving a consumer, a trading platform for digital assets, and a financial institution. The transaction, in which local fiat currency was used to purchase Bitcoin, was disclosed at the Digital Bridge 2022 seminar.
According to a press statement from the bank, this federal statute allows Kazakhs to buy cryptocurrencies in exchange for national fiat, tenge. Eurasian Bank’s technology allowed it to establish one of the lowest prices in the world for such a transaction.
Talgat Dosanov, the exchange director at Intebix said, “This is the first cryptocurrency exchange-bank-client transaction in the entire Eurasian continent.”
Regulators approved a pilot programme in May 2022 that permitted cryptocurrency transactions, however, with restrictions. Banks must abide by the established rules while crypto exchanges must receive a license to participate in the initiative. As per the government in Kazakhstan, the framework complies with international standards to regulate and maintain investor protection measures.
The procedure for purchasing cryptocurrency with Kazakhstani tenge was shown to the chief of state of the nation. If the pilot is successful, the initiative will be developed further to enable crypto asset trading in the Astana International Financial Center (AIFC), according to President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
Registered crypto exchanges were permitted to open accounts with domestic banks only when the pilot operation at the AIFC began. Altyn Bank, Halyk Bank, and Eurasian Bank are all taking part in the pilot, along with two trading platforms, Intebix (doing business in Australia as Biteeu) and Ataix Eurasia. The pilot will be in operation until the end of 2022.
Additionally, Eurasian Bank declared its intention to launch a crypto card this year. Holders will be able to spend their digital coins while making tenge payments because they will be connected to an Intebix wallet. The banking company and Kazakhstan’s National Bank are now working out the specifics. In terms of assets, Eurasian Bank is ranked seven among Kazakhstan’s banks.
Tokayev stressed that Kazakhstan wants to take the lead in the new digital/cryptocurrency frenzy, and also triumph in crypto mining. The president added that complete legal recognition would be given to this financial instrument if it continued to demonstrate security and demand.
Kazakhstan is one of the many countries which faced a heavy inflow of crypto miners when China introduced a blanket ban on the sector (there are reports where the Chinese still trade and hold crypto), given its low electricity rates per watt. Soon after, the country’s leadership introduced a crackdown on crypto mining because the national electrical grid was under pressure.