Uzbekistan permits two banks to issue crypto cards

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Two private banks, Kapital Bank and Ravnaq Bank, got approval from the National Agency for Perspective Projects (NAPP) to participate in the digital sandbox of crypto regulation. They’ll issue plastic crypto cards, powered by Mastercard. 

On August 14, the NAPP reported the approval for Ravnaq Bank to participate in its pilot. Earlier, in May 2023, the Agency confirmed that Kapital Bank would issue its crypto card as well.

According to the release, the Uzbeki crypto card will be called UzNEX, which will integrate a bank account with an access to a crypto exchange and automated exchange mechanism. The card will be supported by one of the world’s leading payment systems, Mastercard.

The current deadline for final customer rollouts of both banks’ crypto cards is the end of December 2023. Kapital Bank and Ravnaq remain two of the three registered participants in the national digital sandbox.

Related: Binance launches regulated platform in Kazakhstan amid troubles in the West

From 2023, the government of Uzbekistan allows the provision of crypto services only by licensed cryptocurrency firms. First licenses were granted to local crypto firms in November 2022. Before that, Uzbekistan restricted access to a number of large international crypto exchanges, including Binance, FTX and Huobi, due to accusations of unlicensed activity.

The country’s regulatory approach to crypto was enabled by presidential decree in 2022, when the NAPP was launched to oversee the digital assets industry. The decree also provide comprehensive legal details related to for cryptocurrency mining operations in Uzbekistan.

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