Fearing that Russia might use cryptos such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) to evade sanctions, Western governments have already included crypto assets in their restrictions. However, some crypto exchanges continue to serve Russian nationals despite these sanctions but there are some limitations.
Kazakhstan’s crypto industry set a major milestone in late September with the first regulated fiat-to-crypto purchase made by Eurasian Bank, a local commercial bank, according to Cointelegraph. The transaction was coursed through the local crypto exchange Intebix, which allows retail investors to use the Kazakhstani tenge (KZT) to pay for their crypto purchases.
What’s interesting is that Interbix’s services are not limited to Kazakhstani nationals but to foreigners visiting the country as well. However, the crypto exchange will only extend its services to foreigners who are cardholders of one of the country’s local banks.
“Although foreign nationals are more than welcome at Intebix, they will need a local bank card to enjoy the crypto-to-fiat transactions,” Intebix co-founder and CEO Talgat Dossanov.
Dossanov further explained that his company only process transactions for verified client. He added that local banks carefully check each potential client if they are included in any of the Western sanctions lists.
“Russian nationals who are not in sanction lists are welcome at Intebix, though they will need to pass a deep compliance check and open an account in a local bank to enjoy the crypto-to-fiat transactions,” the crypto exchange CEO added.
Many Russian nationals who sought to avoid being called up to fight in Ukraine have chosen to fee to Kazakhstan. As of October 6, 2022, around 200,000 Russians have already entered the country since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
While the crypto exchange welcomes foreigners including those from Russia, it still needs to comply with sanctions. “Since we are a regulated exchange we have to comply with the requirements set by our regulators,” Dossanov explained. “We constantly monitor the current situation to make sure we operate within the regulatory framework.”