The first BTM has opened in Almaty, Kazakhstan, according to bitcoin enthusiast Kanat Amrenov and ForkLog's report. The first bitcoin exchange and the national bitcoin foundation might appear in the country in the near future.

Kanat Amrenov installed the first BTM in the country in a shopping mall Ritz situated in the lively area of the capital city. This is the second bitcoin ATM in Central Asia. The first one appeared in a restaurant in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. The new ATM in Almaty operates on 24/7 basis and charges 5% fee. Every operation requires sms verification and an ID card. The machine supports one-way transactions only: buying bitcoin with fiat.

Amrenov left his job in a bank two years ago and is currently thinking about promoting bitcoin in the country. The entrepreneur is planning to found a bitcoin exchange to serve Kazakhstan and other countries in Central Asia. The exchange is to be launched in spring 2016 on the server He shared with ForkLog that he is keeping in touch with the Ukrainian and Russian bitcoin communities. One of his projects under development is a non-profit bitcoin foundation to advocate cryptocurrencies in the region. The working title is Kazakhstan Bitcoin Decentral.

The First Bitcoin Centre is already operating in Kazakhstan providing consulting and education on cryptocurrencies. The centre's director Boris Komarov complained recently that the level of bitcoin awareness in the country is very low. At the same time there are places where bitcoin is accepted as payment, for example, an online shop of electronics Satam.

Sonya Belova