ASTANA – The area that until earlier this month housed in Kazakhstan’s capital Expo 2017 Astana will be transformed into a “crypto valley,” the Governor of the Astana International Financial Center (AIFC), Kairat Kelimbetov, announced on Wednesday.
“The territory where EXPO took place will become a kind of crypto valley. There is great interest in this from all around the world: some central banks support this direction and others are watching closely,” Kelimbetov said.
“The United States and Singapore want to equate the activity of cryptoeconomics with that of the financial sphere’s ordinary activities. Switzerland is pushing strongly in this direction. Japan supports some cryptocurrencies as a means of payment,” he added.
The sprawling grounds of the EXPO is to will be occupied by the AIFC, which, according to Kelimbetov, will be at the forefront of cryptocurrencies – digital currencies among which bitcoin stands out.
“We will form a financial and technological group in EXPO’s territory that will create a new DNA of Kazakhstan’s economy, which, in turn, will probably become a platform for modernization,” the AIFC Governor said.
Astana’s financial center, which is scheduled to be operational by the end of the year, was created as an initiative of the Kazakh government’s “100 Concrete Steps” plan, with which Kazakhstan aspires to be among the 30 most developed countries in the world by 2050.
The AIFC, which has a legal system based on the principles of English law, hopes to become a financial center of reference for Central Asia, just as the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.
The Kazakh Stock Exchange is also to start trading at the end of the year under the AIFC and will initially trade in fixed income shares and values, with other types of assets being considered for future phases.