By Zhazira Dyussembekova in Business
ASTANA – In the midst of the worldwide blockchain and cryptocurrencies craze, Kazakhstan has realised the relevancy of the trend like never before. In mid-November, the Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Association applied for state registration as a legal entity to promote the technology’s ideas and draft legislation in the field.
The association was founded by six organisations and 15 more have applied for membership, according to kapital.kz. The timing is right to unite companies and organisations that are considering working in the market, noted association co-founder and council chairperson Yesset Butin.
“Our main goal is to prescribe the rules of the game in the blockchain market and cryptocurrency in Kazakhstan together with the regulator [the National Bank],” he said. “There are no companies operating in the blockchain market in Kazakhstan, but there are more companies that see the promise of technology for themselves,” he said.
“First, we must follow world trends. The Russian Association of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency has already been created and literally within a month they managed to achieve certain results. Belarus announced the imminent emergence of such an association. We believe the time has come to create such an association here to unite organisations and companies that work in the blockchain market or plan to work in the cryptocurrency markets,” he added.
The industry is in its early stages, so it is not yet possible to assess the market in Kazakhstan in monetary terms, said Butin. The important thing now is to create the necessary infrastructure and effective legislation for it to function, including the unified policy required to form a dialogue with state bodies, including the National Bank. The so-called legislative “rules of the game” will mostly depend on the situation in the market in the next two years.
The association also intends to negotiate with universities to implement educational programmes in blockchain technology.
At the same time, Butin sees the worth of the National Bank releasing a “cryptotenge” at a minimum to create a legitimate platform basis to purchase cryptocurrency in tenge. The cryptotenge could be converted to other world cryptocurrencies as a way to make the concept more easily understood.
He noted people follow the market. The yield on deposits in the currency is decreasing and some banks have become unreliable.
“People are looking for an alternative and find it in the form of cryptocurrency,” he added.
While some countries have recognised cryptocurrencies as an official payment method, others are still deciding. The association founders believe Kazakhstan must find its own path to regulate in the new field.