The National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan (NBK) establishes a separate entity to lead the development and implementation of the central bank digital currency (CBDC), digital tenge.
As reported in the official statement on Sept. 15, the National Payment Corporation (NPC) would be organized on the basis of the former Kazakh Center for Interbank Payments. The new body will oversee the national payment system, including interbank clearing services, money transfers and digital identification.
The National Payment Corporation will also be responsible for the development of “digital financial infrastructure”, including the implementation of the digital tenge.
The digital tenge development started in February 2023 with an implementation 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.
At this point, the CBDC pilot in Kazakhstan is in a pilot phase using a controlled environment, 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.