Kazakhstan’s Senate poured over a proposed bill from the Lower House of Parliament (Mazhilis) regarding sweeping changes to the virtual currency mining industry.
At the plenary session in Astana, the Senators agreed to the bill’s general provisions but introduced some changes in certain sections. The bulk of the corrections centered on articles already provided by other laws in the country and a redefinition of terms.
Another change includes a specification of the sub-types of licenses available to virtual currency miners. By the end of the session, the Senate ordered the bill to be sent back to the Mazhilis for reconsideration.
“In addition, removing the norms related to the advertising of digital mining services, because they are provided in the Advertising Law and the Administrative Offenses Code,” said Bekbolat Orynbekov, member of the Senate’s Finance and Budget Committee.
“Therefore, in accordance with Article 61 of the Constitution, the committee approves the individual articles of the Law and presents them in a new version, and recommends that they be returned to the Mazhilis,” Orynbekov stated.
The bill, originating from the Mazhilis, sought to create a robust framework for virtual asset mining in Kazakhstan after years of legislative neglect. If passed into law, the bill will introduce a clause mandating miners to purchase electricity from the national grid operator only in the event of an energy surplus.
The proposed legislation also seeks to introduce another tax regime for miners while outlawing mining activities from unregistered entities. Other provisions include the stratification of miners into two—those possessing the relevant infrastructure and those renting mining equipment.
Kazakhstan’s mining saga
Kazakhstan shot to the limelight in terms of virtual currency mining following China’s brutal crackdown on the industry in 2021. Thousands of miners migrated north to Kazakhstan, drawn by the promise of cheap electricity and lax regulatory control.
Within weeks, Kazakhstan became the third largest provider of BTC hash rate, but the move came with a price. The influx of miners saw Kazakhstan’s electricity grid stagger under increasing demand, leading to a temporary ban on all mining activity in early 2022.
Experts remain optimistic that the passage of a robust legal framework for regulating the industry would ensure the sustainability of the budding mining industry in the country. However, there are concerns that the bill could stifle the industry’s growth following the perceived double taxation it would impose on miners.
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