The Astana Financial Services Authority (AFSA) has published its new Rulebook on Digital Asset Activities, which is taking effect on 1 January 2024.
AFSA Chief Executive Officer Nurkhat Kushimov: «The Rulebook was developed in close collaboration and consultation with market participants and was finalised based on their feedback. The new regime will provide Digital Asset Service Providers with a clear legal and regulatory framework which addresses a broad range of risks, such as illicit activities, cyber threats, market abuse and others. As a result, the Rules strike an important balance between protecting investors, maintaining a fair, orderly, and efficient market, and facilitating innovation in the AIFC».
In particular, the document has introduced enhanced requirements for Digital Asset Service Providers which now encompass a wide range of entities, such as Digital Asset Trading Facility Operators, Fund and Investment Managers, Brokerage and Custody firms and others.
The Rulebook consolidates policy and supervisory practice in relation to Digital Assets in the AIFC, including practice gained throughout the Pilot Project on interaction between AIFC-registered crypto exchanges and Kazakhstan’s banks. Previously, provisions governing Digital Asset Activities were reflected across various AIFC Acts. The Rules will be later expanded to include the framework for issuance of stablecoins in the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC).
It is expected that clear, detailed, and balanced regime for digital assets will help maintain the competitiveness of the AIFC on international financial and technological markets and provide investors with significant benefits in terms of access to cheaper, faster, and safer financial services and asset management. This Rulebook creates a favorable regime for the digital asset business in the AIFC, encourage innovation, and contribute to the crypto-industry ecosystem in Kazakhstan and the region.
The Rulebook on Digital Asset Activities and consequential amendments to the AIFC Financial Services Framework Regulations, Conduct of Business Rules, Fees Rules, General Rules, Glossary, Authorised Market Institution Rules, and Anti-Money Laundering Rules are published on the AIFC website and will come into force on 1 January 2024.
Digital Asset means a digital representation of value that (1) can be digitally traded and functions as (a) a medium of exchange; (b) a unit of account; (c) a store of value; (2) can be exchanged back-and-forth for Fiat Currency, but is neither issued nor guaranteed by the government of any jurisdiction, and (3) fulfils the above functions only by agreement within the community of users of the Digital Asset; and accordingly (4) is to be distinguished from Fiat Currency and E-money.
Stablecoins means a Digital Asset whose value purports to be determined by reference to another currency, commodity, or financial instrument.
The Astana Financial Services Authority (AFSA) is the independent regulator of the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC), which is established in accordance with the Constitutional Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On the Astana International Financial Centre” for the purposes of regulating financial services and related activities in the AIFC. AFSA administers the AIFC Regulations and Rules and is responsible for the authorisation, registration, recognition and supervision of financial firms and market institutions in the AIFC.
Over 2,200 firms from 78 countries are registered in the AIFC. These firms provide banking, insurance, investment, professional and other services. The range of financial services offered at the AIFC is comparable to the list of services available in long-established financial centers of the world, such as London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai and others. www.afsa.kz
The Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) is an independent jurisdiction with a favourable legal and regulatory environment and a developed infrastructure for starting and doing business, attracting investment, creating jobs and developing Kazakhstan's economy. https://aifc.kz/
Public Relations and Communications Division of AFSA:
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