The Senate in Kazakhstan has approved amendments aimed at preventing the legalization of illicit funds which will affect companies dealing with digital assets, among others. The new legislation subjects crypto service providers to the country’s financial monitoring regime.
Senators Back Law Concerning Crypto Services in Kazakhstan
Members of the upper house in Kazakhstan’s parliament, the Senate, have recently adopted new legislation tailored to improve the prevention of the laundering of proceeds of crime and the financing of terrorism. Key provisions adopted with a new law pertain to the establishment of the legal institute of ‘public officials’ and their financial auditing.
The amendments have been designed to improve the nation’s anti-money laundering framework as a whole and some of them concern cryptocurrency platforms. A report by Sputnik Kazakhstan reveals that the authors have proposed “to regulate the operation of virtual asset providers.”
During a plenary session, Senator Olga Perepechina noted that legal persons issuing digital assets, organizing their trading as well as those providing services for the exchange of cryptocurrencies into cash, valuables and other property are currently outside the scope of the financial monitoring system.
According to Perepechina, this leads to the spread of crimes related to money laundering and terrorist financing and also to the expansion of the shadow economy. Malefactors, including terrorist, are encouraged to use digital assets and electronic means in their settlements, the deputy warned.
Olga Perepechina reminded that Kazakhstan adopted a law regulating digital technologies in June of this year. It allows the issuance and circulation of digital assets in the country and at the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC). Lawmakers now want to subject the entities carrying out such activities to financial monitoring.
The new provisions will oblige crypto companies to notify the respective government bodies upon starting or terminating their operations. The plan is to authorize the Ministry of Digital Development, Aerospace and Defense Industry to act as the main regulator.
Another proposal is to expand the powers of the Financial Monitoring Agency, by providing it with unrestricted access to the country’s register of legal entities, for example. Perepechina believes this is necessary to ensure the transparency of the official information about the legal ownership of business organizations.
Following the vote in the Senate, the law “On Amendments and Additions to Certain Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Counteracting the Legalization (Laundering) of Criminally Obtained Incomes and Financing of Terrorism” has been sent to the president of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who has to sign it.
Concerned over the power deficit that Kazakhstan is facing, Tokayev recently called for the “urgent” regulation of another crypto activity, bitcoin mining. With its low electricity rates, the Central Asian country has become a coin minting hotspot, amid an ongoing crackdown in China. Cryptocurrency miners have been largely blamed for a 7-percent increase in electricity consumption this year.
As far as crypto investing is concerned, authorities recently imposed limits on the amounts of cryptocurrency non-professional investors are allowed to buy on domestic exchanges registered at the financial hub in Nur-Sultan. Regulators explained the restrictions citing the need to protect private individuals from exposure to risks associated with digital assets.
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