Kazakhstan Cracks Down On Crypto, Blocks 980 Exchanges

Vignesh Karunanidhi
Kazakhstan Cracks Down On Crypto, Blocks 980 Exchanges

Kazakhstan’s financial regulator revealed this week that authorities blocked access to 980 illegal cryptocurrency trading platforms in 2023. The move represents a sweeping crackdown on exchanges operating illegally under recent digital asset laws.

According to chairman Ruslan Ostroumov of the Financial Monitoring Agency (FMA), investigations led to denying citizens access to 980 crypto exchanges that failed to properly register with the government. This includes some well-known international exchanges.

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Kazakhstan law denies cryptocurrency trading without approval

Enacted in February, Kazakhstan’s Digital Assets Law prohibits creating, issuing, or facilitating cryptocurrency trading without approval.

Platforms must obtain licenses from the Astana International Financial Center (AIFC) to serve local users. Yet many overlooked this requirement.

The FMA has additionally opened nine money laundering cases related to non-compliant exchanges this year. Over $36.7 million worth of funds were reportedly laundered.

Also read: Bitcoin From “Satoshi Era” on the Move: Here’s Where It’s Headed

In November, residents discovered the leading exchange, Coinbase, was blocked in Kazakhstan after the Ministry of Culture and Information restricted access.

Coinbase joins a lengthy list of globally popular trading avenues that are now blocked. However, a handful of platforms successfully obtained registrations, enabling operations. These include market leaders Binance, Bybit, Biteeu, Xignal&MT, and others.