Uzbekistan has taken a significant step forward in embracing the world of cryptocurrencies by approving Kapital Bank and Ravnaq Bank to issue crypto cards.
These private banks have been selected to participate in the digital sandbox for crypto regulation overseen by the National Agency for Perspective Projects (NAPP).
The move allows Kapital Bank and Ravnaq Bank to issue plastic crypto cards that are powered by the globally recognized payment system, Mastercard. The announcement of Ravnaq Bank’s inclusion was made on August 14th, while Kapital Bank received confirmation back in May 2023.
These crypto cards, collectively known as UzNEX, aim to bridge the gap between traditional banking and seamless crypto exchange access. The innovation lies in the integration of a bank account with direct cryptocurrency exchange access and automated exchange services.
This holistic approach offers users a comprehensive financial experience that encompasses both traditional banking services and the exciting world of digital currencies.
With an ambitious goal to roll out the UzNEX crypto cards by December 2023, Kapital Bank and Ravnaq Bank are demonstrating their commitment to exploring the potential of cryptocurrencies. They are among the three registered entities in Uzbekistan’s national digital sandbox, showcasing their proactive stance in aligning with the nation’s cryptocurrency-friendly approach.
This development comes in the wake of broader regulatory changes in Uzbekistan’s cryptographic landscape. Since 2023, the government has limited crypto services to licensed firms, a shift that follows the granting of local crypto licenses in November 2022.
Before these changes, the government had cracked down on unlicensed activity allegations, leading to restricted access to major international crypto exchanges like Binance, FTX, and Huobi.
The foundation for this regulatory framework was established in 2022 with a pivotal presidential decree that established the NAPP. Beyond regulation, the NAPP has been instrumental in providing comprehensive guidelines for cryptocurrency mining, nurturing the growth of the crypto sector within the country.
As Uzbekistan continues to embrace cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, the introduction of UzNEX crypto cards signifies a crucial step in merging traditional finance with the rapidly evolving digital currency landscape.