Uzbekistan sets up state blockchain development fund

September 07, 2018
Chris Wheal

 

Uzbekistan’s president Shavkat Mirziyoyev (left) has ordered the establishment of a state blockchain development fund called the ‘Digital Trust’, according to a document published at the start of this week on the official government website.

The presidential decree also legalises the activities of cryptocurrency exchanges, local and regional media reported. The document outlines a licensing regime for trading platforms and the various requirements they must meet for permission to operate in the Central Asian country.

An earlier decree in July had prepared the legal grounds for the regulation of crypto-related activities. Mirziyoyev has already approved legislative several initiatives for integrating blockchain into different public areas in the near future.

Aims of the fund

The Digital Trust will be funded by the National Agency of Project Management in addition to international loans and grants.The fund’s aim is to integrate blockchain into various government projects including healthcare, education, and cultural areas. The organisation will also be responsible for international investment in the Uzbek digital economy.

A deadline of 2020 has been set for the introduction of the blockchain integration programme. At the same time, the Ministry for the Development of Information Technologies and Communication must present a blockchain integration scheme for international clearing facilities as well as lending and trade finance

Under the new crypto trading regulations which came into force on September 2, foreign nationals can only trade cryptocurrencies in Uzbekistan by creating a subsidiary in the country.

The law also specifies a minimum capital requirement of roughly $710,000 to establish a crypto exchange, while crypto traders will not be subject to Uzbek stock market regulations and will be relieved of their obligation to pay taxes on trading revenues.

Crypto exchanges in Uzbekistan will be permitted to receive remuneration for their services and determine procedures for charging fees. Their operators will be able to organise exchange transactions with residents and non-residents. The exchangesmust also comply with counter terrorist and anti- money laundering (AML) laws. They are also obliged to keep information on crypto transactions, clients’ personal data and their correspondences for as five years

The presidential decree also states transactions can involve the acquisition and/or alienation of crypto assets in exchange for the national and foreign fiat currencies, as well as the exchange of certain cryptocurrencies with other digital coins.

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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