The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, has received in-principal approval to operate a digital asset trading facility and provide custody services in Kazakhstan from the Astana Financial Services Authority (AFSA), the company announced on Monday.

See related article: Crypto mining’s Great Migration continues — out of Kazakhstan

Fast facts

  • Binance is still required to complete a full application before it can begin operating in the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC), a financial center based in the Kazakh capital of Nur-Sultan.
  • “Kazakhstan has shown itself to be a pioneer in Central Asian crypto adoption and regulation,” founder and CEO of Binance Changpeng Zhao said in a statement, adding Binance is committed to being a compliance-first exchange operating across the globe.
  • The Central Asian country became a popular destination for crypto miners due to its relatively cheap electricity following China’s crackdown on the practice in 2021.
  • Bitcoin mining in Kazakhstan comprised 13.22% of the total global hashrate in January 2022, according to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index.
  • Binance signed a memorandum of understanding with the Kazakhstan government in May to assist the country to develop digital assets regulation to grow its crypto mining industry beyond Bitcoin. 

See related article: Singapore-based Bitcoin miner scales back Kazakhstan project