Uzbek presidential agency proposes to legalize domestic crypto trading

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A major government agency in Uzbekistan appears to be rethinking its stance on cryptocurrencies.

The National Project Management Agency of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, or NAFT, has released an official document proposing several amendments to licensing procedures for crypto-commerce.

The NAFT proposed to formally allow local residents to conduct “all types of crypto exchanges involving crypto assets and tokens in exchange for both domestic and foreign currency.” The authority stressed that crypto investors will trade and invest at their own risk.

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The proposal also aims to establish processes for registering, issuing and circulating digital assets, allowing crypto companies licensed in Uzbekistan to issue their own tokens. According to official documents, the proposed changes are open for discussion until May 14, 2021.

The latest news shows an apparent change of heart towards cryptocurrencies at NAFT. At the end of 2019, the agency banned residents of the country from buying cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC). Despite the ban on crypto purchases, the authority would still allow locals to sell their crypto holdings.

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In January 2020, Uzbekistan launched its first regulated cryptocurrency exchange, Uznex, which is only open to non-residents. The platform was launched by Kobea Group, a South Korean technology company acting as a technical advisor to the Uzbek government.