Uzbekistan Okays New Private Bank For National Crypto Card Project

The Republic of Uzbekistan has approved the participation of another private bank in its ongoing national crypto card project.

According to a press release on August 15, 2023, the country’s digital asset regulatory body, the National Agency of Perspective Projects (NAPP) announced the registration of JSV “Ravnaq-bank” as a member of the Special Regulatory Sandbox Regime.

Uzbekistan Approves Second Participant Bank For Crypto Card Initiative

In accordance with regulations issued by Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Justice on December 30, 2022, the Special Regulatory Sandbox Regime functions as a specific framework that empowers certain entities in the Uzbekistan crypto space to offer special services.

The Ravnaq-bank is now authorized under this regime to actively participate in the pilot of the nation’s crypto card project, where it will develop and implement a virtual bank card product named “CRYPTO CARD – UzNEX.”

According to the NAPP’s statement, this card will enable customers to automatically add funds to their parent account by quickly selling off crypto assets in a digital wallet on a partner crypto exchange platform.

Part of the crypto card’s development will include testing its compatibility with various financial systems, including the Mastercard payment platform, as explained by the NAPP.

The agency said:

The participant of the special regime will test the solution for integrating the automated banking system, the information system of the crypto-exchange, the processing center of the bank, and the MasterCard international payment system.

Based on more data from NAPP, the Ravnaq-bank becomes the second participant in this project alongside Kapitalbank, which was approved earlier in May 2023.

Ravnaq-bank will be looking to commence its test launch by the end of October 2023, while Kapitalbank already began its testing phase at the end of June 2023. However, the NAPP would be expecting both banks to begin the full project launch by late December 2023.

Asides from both private banks, the last current member of the Special Regulatory Sandbox Regime is UZINFOCOM, a company authorized to work on the development of NFT certificates based on distributed data registry technology.

Crypto Regulation In Uzbekistan

Over the last year, the government of Uzbekistan has ramped up efforts to introduce clear and effective regulations in its growing crypto space.

In May 2022, the Central Asian nation established the National Agency of Prospective Projects to serve as the principal regulatory body of all crypto-related activities, including mining, trading, blockchain applications, etc.

Following its commission, the NAPP began preparation to introduce a new cryptocurrency framework in 2023, under which only licensed virtual asset service providers will be permitted to operate.

In August 2022, Uzbekistan banned the operations of certain exchanges, including Binance and FTX, for non-compliance with license registration standards.

Four months later, the NAPP granted the first two crypto licenses for the new regime to Crypto Trade NET LLC and Crypto Market LLC and has since then issued licenses to seven other crypto businesses.

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