Several Crypto Exchange Websites Taken Down in Kazakhstan – The Financial Monitoring Agency (FMA) of the Republic of Kazakhstan has dismantled a group involved in the illegal exchange of cryptocurrencies. Its members organized the trading through several websites such as kzobmen.com, 1wm.kz, kazobmen.ru, wm007.kz, and kz-exchange.com.
As part of the operation in the Kostanay region, the watchdog conducted searches at six locations and acquired evidence implicating the operators of the platforms, according to a news statement. Its personnel seized a number of laptops, cell phones, flash memory sticks, and financial and accounting records.
The authority alleged that the organizers of the online exchangers had received “especially large-scale” income from their business undertaking, without specifying the amount. It also did not reveal how many persons were in the group or their identities.
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Investigators were able to determine that they had two cryptocurrency wallets at Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, containing a total of $6,000 worth of digital assets. The FMA reported that access to these wallets has been temporarily blocked. More than $200,000 worth of coins were found in wallets with other exchanges.
According to the announcement, a preliminary investigation has begun. The Financial Monitoring Agency also reminded that these types of activities are allowed only under the special legal regime of the Astana International Financial Center (AIFC).
Kazakhstan’s crypto market has been expanding since the Central Asian nation became a bitcoin mining hotspot following China’s crackdown on the industry in 2021. Kazakhstan’s government has taken steps to regulate the country’s crypto market, which has been growing since Kazakhstan became a bitcoin mining hub.
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To lawfully run an exchange platform, crypto firms must register with Kazakhstan’s financial hub and gain regulatory license. In October of 2022, Binance was authorized to conduct cryptocurrency exchange and custody services. It agreed earlier that month to exchange information regarding crypto-related crimes with Nur-Sultan authorities.