Kazakhstan’s authorities confirm they blocked access to Coinbase: Report

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Kazakhstan’s authorities confirm they blocked access to Coinbase: Report



The Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Kazakhstan has officially confirmed it has blocked the Coinbase website in the country. The authorities of Kazakhstan have been blocking local IP addresses from accessing Coinbase since September at least.  

According to a Nov. 7 report from a local news outlet, Kursiv, access to the Coinbase website was blocked by an order from the Ministry of Culture and Information. Ministry representatives explained to journalists that the request came from a different government body, the Ministry of Digital Development, which accused Coinbase of violating the Law on Digital Assets.

The Law on Digital Assets, enacted in February 2023, bans the issuance and trading of digital currencies and crypto exchange operations without a national license. The in-principal approval to operate is granted by the authority of the Astana International Financial Center (AIFC), a special economic zone of Kazakhstan.

Related: Kazakhstan establishes regulatory agency to implement CBDC

To date, Binance, Bybit, CaspianEx, Biteeu, ATAIX, Upbit and Xignal&MT have been approved by the Astana Financial Services Authority, which regulates the AIFC.

The first reports about the problems with accessing the Coinbase website appeared in September when the local Telegram media Finance.kz wrote that the “great Kazakh investment firewall” blocks access not only to Coinbase but also to Kraken and other major international crypto exchanges.

Kazakhstan has taken a stringent regulatory approach to crypto, including around its mining sector, which is one of the largest in the world. In October, eight major cryptocurrency mining operators signed an open letter to President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, claiming ​​that the crypto-mining industry is in a “very distressful situation” because of high energy prices for miners.

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