With confidence in Kazakhstan’s national currency at an all-time low, some see an opening for the ascent of digital currencies, of which Bitcoin is perhaps the best known.
Daniyar Akishev, the youthful head of the National Bank of Kazakhstan, appeared to row against the tide of official wariness on the issue earlier this year, when he revealed that a working group had been created to study what he described as surrogate currencies.
“This is a reality with which we will come up against in the very near future, and ignoring it is not possible,” he said in June.
Government positions on digital currencies have veered in the past between wariness and outright hostility. In 2014, Akishev’s predecessor, Kairat Kelimbetov, suggested that the National Bank could adopt moves to designate Bitcoin a form of financial pyramid scheme.
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Aktan Rysaliev is a pseudonym for a journalist based in Almaty, Kazakhstan.