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  • The first purchase of cryptocurrency with Kazakhstan’s local currency has been finalized.
  • The President of Kazakhstan says further demand could likely result in full legal recognition of digital assets.
  • The country will continue running a pilot program through this year to test demand and security.

Kazakhstan’s first cryptocurrency purchase with its local currency, the tenge, took place today as the country considers “full legal recognition” of the asset class, per a report from Inform Buro.

"At the site of the Astana International Financial Center, cryptocurrency conversion is already underway on a special pilot project,” said Kazakhstan’s President, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, speaking at the international forum Digital Bridge 2022.

Furthermore, the country intends to become a leader in the digital asset ecosystem “if its pilot launch is successful.” The pilot is expected to be in a test phase until the end of 2022 as the nation-state continues to study its demand and security.

“To this end, sufficiently innovative changes have been made to national legislation and the regulatory environment,” said President Tokayev. “And we are ready to go further.”

This past summer, the pilot project between Kazakhstan’s banks and cryptocurrency exchanges began in Astana. The project was meant to test the opening of exchange accounts and the exchange’s interactions with local banks. Demand for the asset class seems to be rising as the testing phase continues.

“If this financial instrument shows its continued demand and security, it will certainly receive full legal recognition," President Tokayev concluded.

Bitcoin mining in the region is already prevalent, thus further demand for Kazakhstan could result in legislation designed to attract mining businesses, as well as other exchanges. However, mining for Kazakhstan has not been a straightforward path as it has experienced resistance to the industry.