Cryptocurrency exchange Bybit has received “in-principle” approval from regulators in Kazakhstan, marking another step in its global expansion. The Astana Financial Services Authority (AFSA) granted Bybit pre-approval to operate as a digital asset trading facility and custody services provider at the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC).
Expanding Operations in Kazakhstan
Bybit’s CEO, Ben Zhou, sees great potential for the growth of the crypto industry in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region. With the pre-approval from AFSA, Bybit aims to tap into this potential and establish a strong presence in Kazakhstan. The exchange emphasizes its commitment to compliance with local regulations, particularly in light of recent regulatory concerns raised in Japan.
Working Towards Full Authorization
While the “in-principle” approval is a significant milestone, Bybit is still required to fulfill pre-conditions before receiving permanent authorization to offer its services to local customers. The company is dedicated to completing the necessary application process to fully comply with regulatory requirements.
Expanding Service Offerings
Bybit has been actively expanding its range of services in recent months. In early May, the exchange announced its entry into the crypto lending sector, providing users with the ability to lend and borrow cryptocurrencies. Additionally, Bybit collaborated with Mastercard in March to introduce a new debit card for cryptocurrency payments, further enhancing its service offerings.
Kazakhstan as a Crypto Hub
Kazakhstan has been steadily establishing itself as a regional hub for cryptocurrency, mining, and blockchain activities. The country implemented regulations in February requiring 75% of revenue from crypto mining to be sold through a crypto exchange to combat tax evasion. This move demonstrated Kazakhstan’s commitment to creating a transparent and regulated crypto ecosystem. Moreover, the country collected approximately $7 million in crypto taxes in 2022, showcasing its growing involvement in the crypto space.
Central Bank Digital Currency Development
Kazakhstan is also in the pilot phase of developing its central bank digital currency (CBDC). This development highlights the country’s proactive approach to exploring the potential benefits of digital currencies and integrating them into its financial landscape.
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