Binance receives in-principle approval to operate in Kazakhstan

Binance CEO claims status of ’most licensed crypto exchange globally'

Nur-Sultan in Kazakstan                                 
Nur-Sultan, home to the Astana Financial Services Authority (AFSA) in Kazakhstan – Photo: Getty Images

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, has obtained in-principle approval from the Astana Financial Services Authority (AFSA) in Kazakhstan to operate in the country.

The AFSA is a legal entity and statutory body of the Republic of Kazakhstan and was set up as part of the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) in the capital of Kazakhstan, Nur-Sultan, formerly Astana. The AIFC was set up in 2018 to be a financial hub for the countries of Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Eurasian Economic Union, the Middle East and Mongolia, and Western China.

The approval will allow Binance to operate as a digital asset trading facility and provide custody in the AIFC.

The AFSA said that its “robust regulatory framework governing FinTech has helped the AIFC to establish itself as the leading regional platform for the development of services involving digital assets.”

‘Most licenced crypto exchange globally’

After the announcement, Changpeng Zhao, founder and CEO of Binance, said via Twitter: “Binance is the most licenced crypto exchange globally.”

In a press release, Zhao said: “Kazakhstan has shown to be a pioneer in Central Asia crypto adoption and regulation. This further signifies [sic] Binance’s commitment to being a compliance-first exchange and providing products and services in a safe and well-regulated environment across the globe."

Nurkhat Kushimov, CEO of AFSA, said: “Large investors seeking new markets need clear-cut and well-managed rules as well as high standards of regulatory practice. When a regulator meets these requirements, it creates collaboration based on trust and an ecosystem where players can work safely and efficiently. We believe that Binance’s work will further develop this vibrant ecosystem of digital assets industry locally and regionally.”

Gleb Kostarev, regional head of Asia at Binance, said: “This is a landmark achievement for Binance in Kazakhstan. We are grateful to the Astana International Financial Centre for their support and vision in granting Binance Kazakhstan this in-principle licence approval.”

CEO met President

The President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, met the Binance CEO in May to sign a memorandum of Understanding (MoU).  

The two discussed “long-term cooperation between the relevant agencies of Kazakhstan and Binance in digital finance and implementing joint educational programmes in the field of blockchain technologies, as well as issues of creating a regional hub of the crypto industry in Kazakhstan,” according to a statement

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