The National Bank of Kazakhstan, the country’s central bank, is currently planning to ban cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, or at the very least take a “very conservative approach” towards them, according to a report published by Russian government news outlet Sputnik News.
Per the report, National Bank of Kazakhstan chairman Daniyar Akishev revealed the financial institution doesn’t favor cryptocurrencies, and is even looking to impose “extremely tough restrictions” on crypto markets.
Akishev added that the central bank wants to “ban the exchange of digital currencies for the national currency,” and prohibit cryptocurrency exchanges and miners from operating inside the country’s borders. His reasoning was that cryptocurrencies lead to problems relating to the protection of their users’ rights.
The financial institution’s chairman noted:
“We minimize the risks related to the national market. However, no central bank has all the instruments to control this market in the cross-border market. Therefore, at least, we must prevent this risk via the national currency.”
He added that one of the risks of cryptocurrencies is their potential to be used in illegal activities. Per the bank – and other state bodies – cryptocurrencies are “an ideal instrument for money laundering and tax evasion.”
At present, there are apparently no regulations, laws or bills that aim to stifle the use of cryptocurrencies in the country. Kazakhstan’s take may be somewhat surprising, given that at the G20 summit the world’s economic leaders seemingly preferred to go with a regulatory approach that wouldn’t harm innovation.
The move comes at a time in which bitcoin drops below the $7,500 mark and approaches a crucial period. Some analysts point out the market is extremely oversold and all its waiting for is a trigger to get a bullish period going, while others claim bitcoin may keep falling.
While Kazakhstan is taking a tough approach to cryptocurrencies, Belarus and the German Tourist board are now bitcoin and ethereum friendly, as both have seemingly legalized crypto related businesses and are positioning themselves on the vanguard of the cryptocurrency revolution.
Earlier this year, a Yandex study revealed Kazakhs’ interest in cryptocurrencies grew 15-fold in 2018. The study conducted by the Russian search engine showed search terms like “bitcoin” surged, and that some of the most popular crypto-related queries included initial coin offerings (ICOs), blockchain technology, and cryptocurrency mining.
Yandex further revealed Kazakh users asked specific questions, as they wanted to know if a “student can work for bitcoin,” or “what is blockchain in simple words for dummies.” Mining-related search queries seemed to show users were looking to start their own operations.