The Astana International Financial Centre is hosting a workshop "Cryptocurrency in Central Asia: Navigating FATF Recommendation 15 - Challenges and Best Practices", which discussed ways to ensure safe and responsible use of cryptocurrency.
During the workshop, AFSA shared measures of developing an ecosystem for safe and responsible use of cryptocurrencies. As the only platform in Kazakhstan and the region that may regulate the digital assets industry, one of AFSA’s highest priority is providing a safe environment for conducting activities involving the use of digital assets. The recently adopted Digital Assets Activities Rulebook based on the results of the pilot project includes, among others, detailed requirements on the implementation of FATF’s “travel rule,” prohibits the use of anonymous digital assets and devices and introduces annual independent IT-audit for digital asset service providers.
The workshop has attracted a diverse and distinguished group of participants from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan representing key stakeholders. These included financial regulators, central banks and financial intelligence units from the public sector of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Law enforcements agencies from Kazakhstan included the Anti-Corruption Agency, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Prosecutor General's Office. The private sector was represented by financial institutions of AIFC and Kazakhstan such as commercial banks, digital assets exchanges, investment firms and other financial service providers.
Chief Executive Officer of AFSA Nurkhat Kushimov said: “By bringing together key stakeholders from both the public and private sectors, the workshop seeks to create a shared understanding of the intricacies of virtual asset risks and encourage more cooperation. The event aims to facilitate an exchange of knowledge and expertise, enabling regulatory and law enforcement agencies to stay ahead of emerging trends in illicit financial activities involving virtual assets. The emphasis on cross-border cooperation and the establishment of public-private partnerships underscores the importance of collective efforts in regulating and supervising the virtual asset sector.”
Kathy Leach, British Ambassador to Kazakhstan said: “I am delighted to welcome participants of today’s workshop, organized together with RUSI, the UK leading think tank in partnership with the Agency of Financial Monitoring and Astana Financial Services Authority. It is a continuation of our projects on Strengthening Kazakhstan’s Financial System with participation of regional partners from Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. Today’s workshop is focused on Cryptocurrencies which are a small but significant and growing part of the financial system globally and in the Central Asian region. We are looking to future opportunities to continue our cooperation on Strengthening Kazakhstan’s Financial System”.
The workshop was organised by the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, the British Embassy in Kazakhstan, the Astana Financial Services Authority, and supported by the Agency for Financial Monitoring of Kazakhstan. The event is one of many in a series of capacity building events started in 2023 as part of a broader project on “Countering Illicit Finance in Virtual Assets” sponsored by the British Embassy.
RUSI - The Royal United Services Institute.
FATF - an intergovernmental organisation that develops global standards in the field of combating money laundering and terrorist financing (AML/CFT), as well as assesses the compliance of national AML/CFT systems with these standards (Financial Action Task Force).
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.
Around 2,500 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:
+7 (717) 264 73 43; +7 7172 61-37-45 email: [email protected]
 The FATF's Travel Rule requires Digital Assets Service Providers, along with other financial institutions, to share relevant originator and beneficiary information from digital asset transactions, with the aim of preventing money laundering, terrorist financing, and other fraud activity.