Bybit approved as crypto custody service provider in Kazakhstan

The cryptocurrency exchange Bybit is expanding its operations after receiving “in-principle” approval from regulators in Kazakhstan.

In a statement on May 29, the exchange announced that it has received pre-approval from the Astana Financial Services Authority (AFSA) to operate as a digital asset trading facility and custody services provider at the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC).

Ben Zhou, co-founder and CEO of Bybit, said that he sees great potential in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) as a region for growth in the crypto industry.

Zhou also emphasized Bybit’s commitment to compliance with local regulations, following its recent flagging by regulators in Japan for operating without registration.

“It has always been our primary objective to operate our business in compliance with relevant rules and regulations.”

Under the “in-principle” approval granted to Bybit, the company is subject to pre-conditions that will lead to permanent authorization to commence servicing locals after the application process is fully completed.

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Over the last few months, Bybit has been expanding its service offerings. On May 2, it announced that it would begin offering users crypto lending services. In March, the company collaborated with Mastercard to offer a new debit card for cryptocurrency payments.

The move to offer services in Kazakhstan comes as the country has established itself as a regional hub for crypto, mining, and blockchain. In February, local officials announced a new mandate that 75% of revenue from crypto mining must be sold via a crypto exchange to crack down on tax evasion. A few months later, Kazakhstan revealed that it collected around $7 million in crypto taxes in 2022.

Kazakhstan is currently in the pilot phase of its development of a central bank digital currency.

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