Changes to the rules governing crypto exchange activities in Uzbekistan now allow residents to trade coins on licensed platforms. Previously, Uzbeks could only sell their digital assets. The new provisions also govern the issuance and listing of tokens.
Uzbekistan Relaxes Domestic Crypto Trading Restrictions
Uzbeks will be able to trade digital currencies on the country’s authorized cryptocurrency exchanges. This is now possible because the National Agency for Project Management (NAPM), led by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, recently amended the rules governing local cryptocurrency trading.
According to the new regulations, residents of Uzbekistan can buy, sell, and exchange crypto assets for their national currency within the country, citing a decree issued by the agency’s director. Non-residents are also permitted to exchange cryptocurrencies for foreign fiat.
Uzbekistan legalized cryptocurrency trading in 2018, but the government banned local residents from purchasing cryptocurrencies in late 2019. They were only able to sell. The regulatory body explained that the lifting of the restrictions is due to citizens’ “more rational and balanced” approach to crypto investing.
In September of this year, the NAPM issued a warning against trading on unregistered platforms, reminding residents that crypto exchange operations are subject to licensing under the presidential decree “On measures to develop the digital economy in the Republic of Uzbekistan” and the law “On licensing and notification procedures.”
The amendments also address the creation and trading of digital tokens. The listing of unsecured tokens on local exchanges is prohibited by the National Agency for Project Management. Tokens are defined in the regulations as a unit of account secured by tangible or other property and used to attract investment, according to NAPM.
Tashkent authorities have maintained a generally positive attitude toward the crypto space. They announced plans to establish a national mining pool, a blockchain valley, crypto tax exemptions, and a cryptocurrency exchange in January 2020. Later that month, the South Korean company Kobea Group launched Uznex, a digital asset trading platform.
The use of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment for goods and services, however, remains illegal in the Central Asian country. The Central Bank of Uzbekistan ruled out the possibility of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies being recognized as legal tender in the country in September. A high-ranking official was quoted as saying that this is unlikely to change in the future.