Two private banks in Uzbekistan — Kapital Bank and Ravnaq Bank — acquired approval from the National Agency for Perspective Projects (NAPP) to participate in the digital sandbox of crypto regulation. The banks will 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 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.
From 2023, the government of Uzbekistan has restricted the provision of crypto services to licensed cryptocurrency firms. The 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 initiated by a presidential decree in 2022 when the NAPP was launched to oversee the digital assets industry. The decree also provided comprehensive legal details related to cryptocurrency mining operations in Uzbekistan.