- Coinbase, the world’s second-largest crypto exchange by trading volume, has been blocked in Kazakhstan.
- The Coinbase website violated paragraph 5 of Article 11 of the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
- Interactive Brokers and NYMEX websites were also blocked.
Coinbase, the world’s second-largest crypto exchange by trading volume, has been blocked in Kazakhstan for allegedly breaking the country’s digital assets law. Per multiple reports, Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Culture and Information restricted access to the crypto exchange’s website following a request from its Digital Development counterpart.
In an explanation, the Information Committee of the Ministry of Culture and Information said it received a request from the Ministry of Digital Development, Innovation, and Aerospace Industry of the Republic of Kazakhstan asking to block the web address “www.coinbase.com”. The request stated that the website violates paragraph 5 of Article 11 of the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
As indicated in the quoted law, the issue and circulation of unsecured digital assets, as well as the activities of crypto exchanges for such digital assets, are prohibited in Kazakhstan, except in the territory of the Astana International Financial Center (AIFC). In line with that exception, crypto exchanges like Binance, CaspianEx, Biteeu, ATAIX, Upbit, XIGNAL&MT, and Bybit have all acquired licenses to operate in Kazakhstan.
Following the request from the Ministry of Digital Development, Innovation, and Aerospace Industry, the Ministry of Culture and Information explored the provisions of the Communications Act in Kazakhstan, which stipulates the obligation of providers to limit access to sites with prohibited information, to block Coinbase’s website.
In addition to Coinbase, reports suggest that Interactive Brokers and the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) also had their websites blocked. Reportedly, the ministry blocked those websites after identifying certain violations of the Communications Act, which permits them to limit access to websites with prohibited information.
Explaining further, the Ministry noted that it blocked the Interactive Brokers website following a report from the Agency for Regulation and Development of the Financial Market (ARFRDF) last November. The report claimed to have identified “financial pyramid and other fraudulent transactions” on the brokers’ website. Meanwhile, it blocked the NYMEX website because the exchange allows trading futures on the cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Ethereum outside the jurisdiction of the AIFC.
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