Kazakhstan’s President Calls for Global Cryptocurrency Regulations to Avoid “Inefficiency”

  • Kazakhstan's president Nursultan Nazarbayev called for global cryptocurrency regulations, in order to avoid "inefficiency"
  • Per the country's leader, cryptocurrencies can be used for illicit activities

The president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, has recently called for global cryptocurrency regulations, as he urged other governments throughout the world to establish “common rules regarding the use of cryptocurrency.”

According to local media, Nazarbayev called for global cryptocurrency regulations while speaking at the plenary session of the Global Challenges Summit 2018, in which he stated that most countries are currently looking into adopting cryptocurrencies, but claimed separate actions will lead to inefficiency.

He was quoted as saying:

"Most countries are actively exploring the possibility of adapting cryptocurrency to the current configuration of financial systems. At the same time, we see completely separate actions of states in this issue. And these disparate actions will lead to inefficiency. It is necessary to start developing common rules.”

Nursultan Nazarbayev

Nazarbayev added that, taking into account the “need to involve the entire international community in developing global anti-crisis solutions,” he would see the United Nations’ platform as appropriate to discuss potential regulations.

Kazakhstan’s interest in cryptocurrencies has notably been growing. A study conducted by multinational corporation Yandex earlier this year found that cryptocurrency interested in the country grew 15-fold, when compared to 2017, as Kazaks entered more crypto-related search queries in the company’s search engine.

The study also found that searches for “bitcoin,” the flagship cryptocurrency, grew 7-fold in said period, with blockchain, cryptocurrency mining, and initial coin offerings (ICOs) being among the most searched-for terms.

Notably Kazakhstan’s National Bank, the country’s central bank, considered banning cryptocurrency use, exchanges, and mining earlier this year, as the financial institution considered these assets a vehicle for illicit activities like money laundering and tax evasion.

The financial institution’s chairman Daniyar Akishev said:

"In Kazakhstan, the National Bank is taking very conservative approach toward the matter, and it welcomes nothing but extremely tough restrictions. Therefore, we want to ban the exchange of digital currencies for the national currency. We want to prohibit the stock exchange’s activities in this area, as well as every type of mining."

Daniyar Akishev

At the time the central bank’s goal was to seemingly reduce the risks cryptocurrencies pose. The country’s president calling for global regulations may mean a crackdown is no longer being considered.