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Kazakhstan: Making a Tentative Foray Into Digital Money

Kazakhstan’s first Bitcoin terminal, installed late last year in the Central Asian nation’s business capital, Almaty. As the terminal’s owner admits, it is not used much yet, but with confidence in the Kazakh national currency at an all-time low, some see an opening for the ascent of digital currencies. (Photo: EurasiaNet)

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.

Kazakhstan: Making a Tentative Foray Into Digital Money

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