As Uzbekistan prepares to adopt a new cryptocurrency framework in 2023, Uzbek regulators have started issuing regulatory approvals to local crypto service providers.
The National Agency for Perspective Projects (NAPP), Uzbekistan’s major cryptocurrency market watchdog, has issued the nation’s first crypto licenses, according to an official announcement released on Nov. 17.
The licenses officially authorize the offering of cryptocurrency-related services by two “cryptocurrency stores,” including Crypto Trade NET LLC and Crypto Market LLC.
A spokesperson for the NAPP told Cointelegraph that the regulated crypto shops in Uzbekistan are authorized to operate both an online crypto trading platform and an offline physical exchange. Offline crypto stores provide licensees with an opportunity to offer crypto exchange services at physical encounters by using both mobile banking and cash.
According to the information from the NAPP’s electronic license register, both Crypto Trade NET and Crypto Market are based in Tashkent. The data also refers to Kamolitdin Nuritdinov as Crypto Market’s single founder and shareholder. Behzod Achilov is also the single founder and shareholder of Crypto Trade NET.
On Nov. 24, the NAPP also issued a license to Crypto Express LLC. None of the licensed platforms appear to have an operating website at the time of writing.
According to the announcement, the NAPP has licensed the two companies based on the presidential decree issued in April 2022, which establishes rules for crypto assets circulation in Uzbekistan.
“Crypto shops are designed to provide easier access for citizens to buy or sell crypto assets,” the statement said, adding:
“The agency urges citizens to be as vigilant as possible and not to use the services of electronic platforms that have not received a license to operate on the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan in the prescribed manner.”
The news comes shortly after the government of Uzbekistan blocked a number of major global crypto exchanges due to the absence of a proper license to offer crypto trading services.
The block affected crypto giants like Binance and Huobi, while users were reportedly still able to access their websites with the help of VPN services.
The latest licenses come amid Uzbekistan actively preparing to adopt a new crypto regulatory framework in a few months. Starting from Jan. 1, 2023, the government of Uzbekistan will allow the provision of crypto services to Uzbek citizens only by licensed cryptocurrency firms.