Kazakhstan’s Vice Minister of Finance, Ruslan Dalenov, told local news agency Tengrinews that Bitcoin could undermine his country’s position in the global financial system.
“People transfer this digital money to each other by just clicking a button, without having to use any bank services or pay remunerations for the transactions,” Dalenov said. “Imagine large corporations switching to cheap digital transactions; this would leave the bankers seeking another job.”
While the vice minister did accurately illustrate one disruptive innovation Bitcoin could provide, it was not clear from the Tengrinews piece how this specifically would affect Kazakhstan.
That said, Dalenov did downplay Bitcoin’s role in funding illegal activities.
“There is a cheaper and clearer means: Cash,” Dalenov said. “This is where we should start our fight.”
Meanwhile, the fact that Bitcoin has grown in value so significantly in the last year makes it an attractive investment tool to ordinary Kazakhs, Dalenov said. It was not clear whether this was perceived as something threatening.
Now, the Finance Ministry of Kazakhstan is conducting its own investigation into the cryptocurrency. One problem ministry representatives have professed to is the anonymity afforded to Bitcoin users. The finance ministry wants users and their accounts to be identifiable.
The ministry has already stated that the currency does not fall under the Kazakh statute called “On counting legalization (laundering) of illegally obtained incomes and funding of terrorism.”