Kazakhstan offers excellent opportunities for obtaining a cryptocurrency license and successfully developing business in this field
At present Kazakhstan has established a complete regulatory system for cryptocurrency activity, and the state is actively accepting applications for crypto licenses. On April 1, 2023, the Law on Digital Assets in the Republic of Kazakhstan came into force. The main purpose of this law is to create a legal framework for activities with digital assets in Kazakhstan, which allows controlling their issue and circulation in the state.
Contrary to the ban on the issue and circulation of unsecured digital assets in Kazakhstan, the legislation provides the possibility of their issue and circulation through the Astana International Financial Center (AIFC) as an exception to the general rule.
This will allow to legally conduct cryptocurrency activities on the territory of AIFC with the license "Operating a Digital Asset Trading Facility".
This license opens new opportunities for cryptocurrency transactions in Kazakhstan, provided that the established rules and restrictions are observed. For example, the legislation requires cryptocurrency companies in Kazakhstan to conduct customer identification, comply with anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing measures, etc., by Law No. 193-VII of the Law "On Digital Assets in the Republic of Kazakhstan".
Request more information about the Kazakhstan Crypto License
Companies that have obtained a license for cryptocurrency in Kazakhstan will be able to legally provide services of purchase, sale, and exchange of cryptocurrencies in exchange for fiat money or another cryptocurrency, to accept and transfer payments in cryptocurrency.
This activity will be supervised by The Astana Financial Services Authority (AFSA) - the main financial regulator on the territory of AIFC.
Favorable Tax Regime
Crypto license holders in Kazakhstan who provide financial services within AIFC are exempt from tax payments on several income and property taxes until January 1, 2066. This attracts investments and the development of the financial services market without additional tax burdens.
Sustainable Legislative Framework
A robust and sustainable legislative framework has been established in Kazakhstan with regard to cryptocurrency activity. The country's legal provisions governing this domain have been in place since 2018, and have undergone a single revision in the past 5 years. The implementation of a new law on 1 April 2023 has led to the creation of a comprehensive and contemporary regulatory system that is fully aligned with global benchmarks. It is anticipated that this legislative framework will remain stable for the next 2-3 years.
Simplified visa and labor regime
Employees of bodies and participants of AIFC, as well as their family members, can enter Kazakhstan under a special visa regime for up to 5 years and do not need a work permit for foreign employees. This makes it possible to attract highly qualified foreign specialists to develop the financial sector.
Convenient and fast registration of foreign citizens
AIFC provides a simplified registration regime for issuing visas, work permits, and other procedures on AIFC territory, which makes the process of entry for foreign nationals more convenient and quick. A specialized Expat Center was opened in Kazakhstan, which provides more than 500 services to foreign nationals.
Simplified currency regime
AIFC participants are exempt from the need to comply with the currency legislation of Kazakhstan on registration of currency transactions, notification of their implementation, opening accounts in foreign banks, and other similar rules. Under this regime, AIFC participants can fulfill their obligations in any currency stipulated by the contract.
Ensuring security and transparency of financial markets
AFSA regulates financial and market services in AIFC, ensuring the safety and soundness of the financial system and the legal protection of AIFC participants. And also facilitate the process of interaction with foreign citizens and companies.
License for crypto related activity in the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC)
Full set up of VASP business with all the necessary infrastructure, connection to KYC providers, local substance, and accounting services
49 550 USD
Initial set up
Exhaustive set up of company infrastructure for the start of operational activity
27 650 USD
Initial set up
Registration under the minimum regulatory requirements
24 900 USD
Initial set up
To obtain a crypto license in Kazakhstan, it is necessary to comply with certain rules:
To register a company with the AIFC, the following documents and data are required:
According to Articles 8, 10, 11 of Law No. 193-VII ЗРК. "On digital assets in the Republic of Kazakhstan," requirements to exchange digital assets and the process of their licensing are determined by the acts of the Astana International Financial Center. It is also important to pay attention to the basic provisions of AFSA (Astana Financial Services Authority).
On April 1, 2023, the law `"On Digital Assets in the Republic of Kazakhstan`" came into force, which was previously adopted by the Parliament of Kazakhstan with amendments. The main purpose of this law is to create a legal framework for the development of digital assets, which will regulate their issuance and circulation in the country.
The Law sets out the following objectives: licensing and regulating digital asset companies, reporting the income of crypto-exchanges and digital miners for taxation purposes, and establishing rules for the operation of digital asset exchanges and state control of digital assets.
For legal cryptocurrency activities in Kazakhstan, you will need to apply to the AFSA for a license called 'Operating a Digital Asset Trading Facility'.
This type of license allows you to provide exchange, purchase, or sale services for:
A cryptocurrency license in Kazakhstan is issued for 2 years, after which an annual renewal fee must be paid. The renewal fee is $35,000 and may vary depending on the nature of the activity.
Particular attention should be paid to Article 11 of this document. It states that unsecured digital assets are not recognized as financial instruments or financial assets in the Republic of Kazakhstan, except as provided for in the laws of the country. In addition, the issuance and circulation of unsecured digital assets and the operation of digital asset exchanges for unsecured digital assets are prohibited in the Republic of Kazakhstan, except for the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC).
This means that only transactions that take place in the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) fall under the regulation of the AIFC. Therefore, restrictions on cryptocurrency trading should not be imposed under general law as long as the relevant entity or company operates within the AIFC. In such circumstances, residents of Kazakhstan should be able to own, buy and sell cryptocurrencies by the rules of the AIFC.
An entity is also deemed to be operating in the AIFC if it conducts its business through a company established under AIFC law and operates it daily, even if the activity is conducted partly or wholly outside the AIFC.
Over the past five years, Kazakhstan's legislation relating to cryptocurrency activity has transformed. In 2018, the Law on Amendments and Additions to Certain Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Financial Regulation, which amended the Law on Securities Market, on the National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and other legislative acts, was passed.
The National Bank acted as a regulator of the cryptocurrency market and issued licenses based on several requirements and standards, such as having sufficient capital, compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CFT) requirements, use of secure cryptocurrency storage methods, and others.
In 2020, Kazakhstan created the Digital Financial Assets Act, which regulates the use and circulation of digital financial assets, including cryptocurrency, and establishes procedures for their regulation and supervision.
From 1 April 2023, Kazakhstan's Ministry of Digital Technology issues licenses for cryptocurrency. This allows companies to legally conduct cryptocurrency activities within AIFC.
The Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) is an area in the city of Nur-Sultan (formerly Astana) designated by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan. It is subject to a special legal regime in the financial sector, which was established by the Constitutional Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan "On the Astana International Financial Centre".
The main regulator in the jurisdiction of the AIFC is the AFSA. It was established on 1 January 2018 as an independent regulator within AIFC. The main task of the AFSA is to regulate financial services and related transactions that take place in the Astana International Financial Centre.
AFSA is the regulator of both financial and non-financial services. The regulator oversees the activities of the Centre's participants, which provide financial and ancillary services, as well as capital markets activities in the AIFC.
Institutions that have been registered and licensed by AFSA are referred to as 'Members of the Centre'. To become a Member, one must have a physical presence within the AIFC, but services can be provided to clients throughout the whole country, subject to AFSA regulations. Members may also operate outside Kazakhstan but must comply with the laws of the other country.
AFSA supervises and empowers all members, their directors, and key employees (referred to as `"Approved Persons`") to perform supervised functions. If necessary, AFSA may take enforcement action against participants in the Centre.
The Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan `"On Taxes and Other Obligatory Payments to the Budget`" (Tax Code) establishes the tax regime in the territory of Astana International Financial Center (AIFC), except for those cases specified in Article 6 of the Constitutional Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan `"On Astana International Financial Center`". Under these exceptions, participants of the AIFC licensed to provide financial services on the territory of the AIFC enjoy tax exemptions for CIT and VAT.