On December 28, the country’s parliament adopted a set of amendments to the current legislation, including limitations on electricity consumption by digital miners and a ban on cryptocurrency exchanges. The new draft law adopted by the MPs is an annex to the law on digital assets.
According to MP Ekaterina Smyshlyaeva, who presented the draft law in the Mazhilis, the main goal of the document is to protect the national power grid system from unregulated digital mining. Digital miners are no longer able to buy electricity directly from the national power grid system. They have to rely only on renewable sources of energy, imports of energy and their own generating capabilities. However, digital miners can purchase electricity from the national power grid system if it has a surplus of energy. Miners will be able to do so through KOREM, the operator of the centralized electricity trading market in Kazakhstan. In case of a surplus of energy, all price limitations will be lifted to make sure miners can buy energy at an arm’s length.
In addition, Kazakhstan is going to ban the advertising of cryptocurrencies as well as the operation of all cryptocurrency exchanges except the Astana International Financial Center. Once the amendments are approved by the Senate, the upper house of Kazakhstan’s parliament, the draft law will be considered adopted and ready to be signed by the president.
In October 2021, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev ordered the Ministry of Energy to introduce legal regulation for digital miners, which are large consumers of electricity in the country. In September 2022, while attending Digital Bridge 2022 Congress, Tokayev said that Kazakhstan is going to be the leading country in the sphere of new digital technologies, crypto ecosystems, and regulated and transparent digital mining.