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| April 27, 2018

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Here’s Why Buckingham Is Out of Fleetwood Mac

April 25, 2018 |

Two weeks after his exit from Fleetwood Mac was revealed, Lindsey Buckingham remains mum about the cause. Not his former band members. Stevie Nicks tells Rolling Stone the split came after Buckingham proposed pushing back the band’s upcoming North American tour, which kicks off Oct. 3. “We were supposed to…

Don’t run out of money in retirement: Here’s how much to use per year, and why

April 22, 2018 |

Dear Liz: I am confused about “safe withdrawal rates” from retirement accounts. I’ve read that withdrawing 4% of savings each year is the gold standard that financial planners utilize to ensure that life savings are preserved in retirement.

However, if the Standard & Poor’s 500 index returns on…

L.A. Times – Business

Reporter: Here’s a Tape of Trump Conning Me in 1980s

April 21, 2018 |

Legend has it that Donald Trump used to pose as his own PR person back in the 1980s and ’90s and phone reporters to talk about how great Trump was. Now a former reporter for Forbes magazine is offering up a taped phone conversation he had with “John Barron” in…

Here’s why Trump needs to a more realistic approach to trade with China

April 16, 2018 |

President Trump does not take on small tasks—confronting North Korea after predecessors kicked the can, reforming taxes and business regulations and now America’s corrosive trade deficit.
FOX News

The US attack on Syria is completely legal and utterly moral. Here’s what Trump’s critics need to know

April 15, 2018 |

President Trump’s action to attack Syria was exceptionally well-grounded legally. Self-evident moral authority supports using any reasonable means to protect innocents from the moral outrage of chemical weapons.
FOX News

Vermont’s New Gun Restrictions Are a Big Deal. Here’s Why

April 11, 2018 |

Vermont on Wednesday raised the age to buy firearms, banned high-capacity magazines, and made it easier to take guns from people who pose a threat—the first significant gun ownership restrictions in state history, signed into law by the Republican governor. It’s a remarkable turnaround for the largely rural state…

Here’s What Trump Thinks of Raid on His Attorney’s Office

April 9, 2018 |

President Trump was quick to respond to news of the FBI raiding the office of his personal attorney , saying Monday that it was “an attack on our country” and “on what we all stand for,” CNN reports. “I just heard that they broke into the office of one of my…

One year ago, Dr. David Dao was dragged off a United flight. Here’s how flying has changed, and how it hasn’t

April 8, 2018 |

It started with a passenger refusing to give up his seat aboard a Sunday evening United Express flight from Chicago to Louisville, Ky., last April to make room for airline employees.

Within 24 hours, cellphone video of the bloodied 69-year-old man being dragged down the aisle had gone viral, sparking…

L.A. Times – Business

Here’s Why Kazakhstan Won’t Ban Mining and Cryptocurrencies

April 8, 2018 |

Here’s Why Kazakhstan Won’t Ban Mining and Cryptocurrencies

This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. does not endorse nor support views, opinions or conclusions drawn in this post.

Over the past few days, crypto media have been stirred up by the news that the government of Kazakhstan is considering a ban on cryptocurrency mining. This was alleged by Daniyar Akishev, Governor of the National Bank of Kazakhstan. Is the country really going to become the first to ban mining, or was that merely a statement by an official who doesn’t understand the technology? Let’s take a closer look at what’s actually going on in Kazakhstan.

Also read: Interest in Cryptocurrency Jumped 15-Fold in Kazakhstan

Why Some People Want to Ban Mining

Here’s Why Kazakhstan Won’t Ban Mining and Cryptocurrencies
Author: Leonid Muravjov

For 80 years, Kazakhstan was part of the Soviet Union, where entrepreneurship was treated as a criminal offense. Buying and selling any commodity by a private individual was considered profiteering, punishable by a prison term of up to seven years and confiscation of property. The underdeveloped entrepreneurship, along with the inability to reorient the economy and the slow pace of innovation, still hamper the development of most post-Soviet countries.

In modern-day Kazakhstan, most managers of large enterprises, as well as the top-ranking officials, have received Western education through the “Bolashak” state program fully covering the costs. Many of them are Ivy League graduates. The country is moving forward thanks to these people. Those who think in late 20th century terms are holding it back.

The Governor of the National Bank has never worked in business. He graduated from the Institute of National Economy, in Kazakhstan in the ‘90s, and is now trying to bring the country back to that decade.

The Innovations of Kazakhstan

Huge amounts of money are being spent to digitize Kazakhstan. 70% of the country’s gross domestic product comes from the sale of mineral resources such as oil, gas, and coal. The government is aiming to reduce the country’s dependence on minerals before the oil runs out, or its price falls again, provoking another economic crisis.

Progress is already being made. For example, Kazakhstan has the best e-government in the region, even better than that of Russia. In 2015-2016, the Doing Business ranking placed the country among the fastest growing economies in the world. In terms of GDP, the Kazakhstan is second only to the Russian Federation in its region.

The National Bank Has No Authority to Ban Mining

Nevertheless, there are still people in the country who are trying to “ban everything they don’t understand.” In October 2017, the Governor of the National Bank said that he didn’t really understand what cryptocurrencies were. Judging by his latest statements, he still hasn’t “figured it out”. Theoretically, mining and token trade may only be banned by the Ministry of Economic Development. However, no official from that department has made any such statement.

The National Bank’s stance does not comply with the state policy of Kazakhstan and had not been agreed with any other government body. We have already witnessed similar precedents in Nigeria and South Korea, where officials with little to no understanding of the concepts of cryptocurrency and blockchain tried to ban them. They “got slapped” by their country’s leadership and never repeated these attempts.

Here’s Why Kazakhstan Won’t Ban Mining and Cryptocurrencies

Since blockchain and cryptocurrencies are inextricably linked, a blockchain ban would undo the government policies from the last several years. To date, electricity rates in Kazakhstan are some of the lowest in the world. In the northern regions of the country 1 kWh costs less than 1 cent (USD). The Ministry of the National Economy of Kazakhstan has estimated the excess capacity at 3,500 MW.

If the surplus electricity is sold to mining farms, Kazakhstan may receive up to $ 1 billion extra revenue each year and will be able to compete with China and Canada in the cryptocurrency mining sector. I bet NBK’s Governor is starting to see for himself that the progress is unstoppable and no one should get in its way.

Getting Rid of the Resource Curse

The country’s digital transformation is a step towards reducing its dependency on mineral resources and a shift away from exporting mineral resources towards exporting technologies. At Lisbon’s Web Summit last year, Kazakhstan presented 42 projects for the country’s digital transformation, which will receive up to $ 1 billion of investments. Among these projects are the digitization of resource extraction, the introduction of an intelligent transport system, the setting up of a unified system of digital contracts, the drive to digitalize tax control, etc.

Adopting Blockchain Technologies

Here’s Why Kazakhstan Won’t Ban Mining and Cryptocurrencies
President Nursultan Nazarbayev

Most of the changes are related to the introduction of blockchain-based technologies. Kazakhstan was one of the first countries in the world to announce the adoption of the blockchain. This has been repeatedly pointed out by  the country’s President, the Prime Minister and the line ministries. For example, President Nursultan Nazarbayev has suggested implementing blockchain in the taxation system, online cargo tracking and customs operations.

Blockchain-based VAT administration is scheduled for launch in 2019. It will help track financial transactions of taxpayers, ensure guaranteed VAT refunds and preclude gray areas. Kazakhstan’s representatives are also participating in negotiations on the creation of a Eurasian cryptocurrency.

The statement of the National Bank’s Governor goes against the state policy and the country’s development strategy. This fall President Nazarbayev mentioned the capitalizations of bitcoin and ethereum and described cryptocurrencies as “absolute innovations”. “70 billion dollars of bitcoin capitalization represents an absolute growth, absolute productivity, and absolute innovation. That’s exactly what we need,” Kazakhstan’s head of state said.

Do you think Kazakhstan is poised to become a leader in cryptocurrency adoption and blockchain implementation in Central Asia? Tell us in the comments section below.

About the author: Leonid Muravjov is VP at the Blockchain and Crypto Technology Association of Kazakhstan. Alongside developing the blockchain ecosystem in the country, Leonid is a CEO and founder of ROI Group, a marketing and consulting agency with 40 employees and $ 6 million of turnover. Among ROI clients are Visa, #1 Kazakhstan bank, #1 Kazakhstan telco, leading construction, insurance, and FMCG companies.

Leonid’s contacts:



Images via Shutterstock.

Disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. does not endorse nor support views, opinions or conclusions drawn in this post. is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any information in this Op-ed article.

The post Here’s Why Kazakhstan Won’t Ban Mining and Cryptocurrencies appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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