Kazakhstan’s National Bank is considering banning exchanges of cryptocurrency for the national currency, the tenge, as well as crypto mining, local news outlet Sputnik reported March 30.

Daniyar Akishev, the chairman of the National Bank, said that they are “taking a very conservative approach toward the matter, and it welcomes nothing but extremely tough restrictions”, stating:

“Therefore, we want to ban the exchange of digital currencies for the national currency. We want to prohibit the stock exchange’s activities in this area, as well as every type of mining.”

According to Akishev, the problem with cryptocurrencies is their lack of regulation and characteristics as an “ideal instrument for money laundering and tax evasion:”

"We minimize the risks related to the national market. However, no central bank has all the instruments to control this market in the cross-border market. Therefore, at least, we must prevent this risk via the national currency.”

Akishev told Sputnik that the “majority” of Kazakhstan governmental organization endorse this strict attitude.

Last fall, Kazakhstan showed more support for the possibility of cryptocurrencies and crypto technologies, as government-supported Astana International Finance Center (AIFC) announced that they were working on creating their own cryptocurrency, the CryptoTenge. In November, Kazakhstan’s Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Association also applied with the government to be allowed to begin conducting official activities.

In early March, a study by search engine Yandex showed that Kazakhstanis were looking up cryptocurrency-related terms in more frequency this year than in 2017.