Kazakhstan establishes regulatory agency to implement CBDC

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The National Bank of Kazakhstan (NBK) has established a separate entity to lead the development and implementation of the country’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), the digital tenge. 

According to an official statement on Sept. 15, the National Payment Corporation (NPC) is a reorganization of the Kazakhstan Center for Interbank Settlements. The new body will oversee the national payment system, including interbank clearing services, money transfers and digital identification.

The NPC will also be responsible for the development of “digital financial infrastructure,” including the implementation of the digital tenge.

Related: US lawmakers advance legislation blocking the digital dollar

Development of the digital tenge started in February 2023, with a launch deadline set for 2025. Back then, NBK deputy governor Berik Sholpankupov explained the bank’s vision of a “collaboration between traditional finance and DeFi” that could increase financial inclusion and support international trade.

Currently, the CBDC pilot in Kazakhstan is in a controlled environment pilot phase with real consumers and merchants. One of the principal partners for the project is the world’s largest crypto exchange, Binance. The company supports the pilot with its technical solution, BNB Chain.

In June, Binance announced the launch of a regulated digital asset platform in Kazakhstan in partnership with the local Freedom Finance Bank, allowing users to transfer fiat funds to their accounts on the platform.

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