Bitcoin in Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan is interested in the blockchain and cryptocurrency at the governmental and societal levels: while the government focuses on implementing the new prospective technology, common citizens consider ether and bitcoin as a perfect investment method. The business community also expresses great interest in this topic, because the development of blockchain technologies and increase of cryptocurrency role are an excellent environment for startups and ICOs. Smile-Expo is going to bring together industry enthusiasts in order to provide efficient communication and collaboration. Thus, on September 28, Almaty will host Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Almaty.
► Blockchain-based government projects and virtual tenge
The Government of Kazakhstan showed its interest to the blockchain issue for the first time in summer 2016: the ninth Astana Economic Forum included the workshop dedicated to blockchain prospects in the government control. During 2016-2017, Kazakhstan announced several major blockchain projects of the national level.
- IBM and Park of Innovative Technologies signed a partnership agreement.
- One developed a project of transferring VAT registration into the blockchain.
- One designed a project for security purchases based on the same technology.
- One formed a working group on creating friendly environment for the blockchain in the country.
Whereas, in 2015, the blockchain community consisted of a small group of enthusiasts aimed at promoting this technology and bitcoin in Kazakhstan, the current situation changed: the interested audience became wider; it was joined by world-renowned development companies and government institutions.
At the tenth Astana Economic Forum in 2017, Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan, stressed the necessity to create a single payment unit for the CIS countries based on cryptocurrency. A bit later, Astana International Financial Center announced formation of the working group to focus on the development of blockchain technologies in Kazakhstan and the CIS countries.
Now, the country is readily approaching to the blockchain, and this trend is aimed at making Kazakhstan a technically developed country and increasing its investment attractiveness.
► Blockchain and cryptocurrency in business
Bitcoin price is predicted to keep growing up to $5000 per one unit. Therefore, bitcoin mining is becoming more and more popular business in Kazakhstan.
Entrepreneurs create mining farms and gladly buy ready-made solutions for cryptocurrency mining. In August 2017, one of Kazakh businesspeople posted an advertisement on the Internet for changing his Porshe for mining equipment.
Blockchain-based solution development is also quite a prospective business area in the country. In July 2017, Astana International Financial Center presented the new working group for promoting the fintech sector in Kazakhstan. Its main task is to create an ecosystem for the application of the blockchain and digital currency projects. Thus, Kazakhstan provides all opportunities for successful development of projects based on the new technology.
► Digital currencies for ordinary citizens of Kazakhstan
Bitcoin is popular in Kazakhstan as a way to keep savings as well. It sparked the interest even in 2015: country’s fiat currencies were unreliable investments because of economic muddle. Therefore, constantly growing digital asset attracted attention of those desiring to protect their savings from inflation or multiply them.
2015, Kazakhstan installed the first bitcoin ATM, which proved cryptocurrency popularity in the country. In 2015-2016, a lot of printed and online media published articles on the hot-button topic: what bitcoin and cryptocurrency mean; how to obtain or buy virtual cash and the best possible way to store it.
The interest to this cryptocurrency in Kazakhstan also grew after bitcoin fork on August 1 and after a new price rise. More and more people decided to transfer their savings or a part of them into cryptocurrency.
As of this writing (August 10), bitcoin cost 112898 tenge. Cryptocurrency can be exchanged for Kazakhstan’s national money without intermediate conversion in euros or dollars on the btc-kz.com exchange.