Uzbekistan presidential agency mulls lifting the ban on crypto trading

Written by: Jinia Shawdagor
April 30, 2021
  • NAFT proposes that Uzbekistan residents should be free to trade crypto for fiat currencies.
  • The proposed amendments are open to discussion until May 14, this year.
  • Uzbekistan banned its residents from buying crypto in December 2019.

The National Agency for Project Management under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan (NAFT) is contemplating lifting the ban on crypto trading in the country. A report unveiled this news on April 30, citing an official document that the agency issued. Reportedly, NAFT’s document proposes several amendments to the licensing processes of crypto trading.

In the document, NAFT noted that,

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Residents of the Republic of Uzbekistan have the right to carry out on crypto-exchanges all types of crypto-exchange trades in crypto-assets and tokens for national and foreign currencies. The choice of crypto-assets as an object of acquisition and, accordingly, the consequences of this choice are the risk of the buyer himself.

According to the publication, these changes follow two decrees from Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the President of Uzbekistan. The first one was on July 3, 2018, and it focuses on introducing measures to develop the digital economy in the Republic of Uzbekistan. The second decree was on September 2, 2018, and it focuses on measures that organize the activities of crypto-exchanges in the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Assuming a pro-crypto stance

Per NAFT’s documents, these proposed changes also seek to introduce procedures for the registration, issuance, and circulation of digital currencies. This would allow licensed crypto firms in the country to issue virtual currencies. Allegedly, these amendments are open to discussion until May 14, this year.

Uzbekistan banned its citizens from buying crypto in December 2019. This ban dealt a significant blow to the country’s crypto space, seeing the citizens were still struggling with making crypto-related transactions in the country even before it came into effect. While the National Project Management Agency still allowed the residents to sell crypto through two licensed crypto exchanges, each trader had to follow a detailed identification procedure to prevent money laundering.

Like many countries that have a negative outlook on crypto, Uzbekistan is interested in blockchain technology. For instance, President Mirziyoyev signed a decree to have the blockchain integrated into Uzbekistan’s government transactions to enhance transparency, deliver quality public services, and increase accountability, thus minimizing corruption.