Uzbekistan authorizes two banks to offer cryptocurrency cards

By: Mark Jessy

Uzbekistan authorizes two banks to offer cryptocurrency cards

August 16, 2023 10:12 AM

The National Agency for Perspective Projects has given its blessing to the participation of Kapital Bank and Ravnaq Bank in the digital sandbox of crypto regulation.

Two private Uzbek banks, Kapital Bank and Ravnaq Bank, have been given permission to test crypto regulations in a "digital sandbox" by the country's National Agency for Prospective Projects (NAPP). Plastic Mastercard-powered crypto cards will be issued by the banks.

The NAPP announced→ on August 14 that Ravnaq Bank has been given permission to take part in the pilot program. The Agency has previously indicated in May 2023 that Kapital Bank would also issue its crypto card.

The Uzbeki crypto card, which the announcement calls UzNEX, will apparently combine a bank account with access to a cryptocurrency exchange and an automated exchange mechanism. Mastercard, one of the most popular payment methods worldwide, will back the card.

Both banks have set the end of December 2023 as the target→ date for completing customer rollouts of crypto cards. Two of the three original participants in the national digital sandbox are still active: Kapital Bank and Ravnaq.

Uzbekistan's government has decreed that beginning in 2023, only authorized cryptocurrency businesses will be allowed to offer cryptocurrency services. In November of 2022, the first licenses were issued to crypto companies in the region. Prior to that, Uzbekistan blocked access to many major international cryptocurrency exchanges on suspicion that they were engaging in illegal activities. These exchanges included Binance, FTX, and Huobi.

In 2022, the National Authority for the Supervision of Payments (NAPP) was established by presidential decree to regulate the country's cryptocurrency market. The directive also laid out the law in its entirety as it pertains to the mining of cryptocurrencies in Uzbekistan.