The National Bank of Kazakhstan (NBK) recently announced the establishment of the National Payment Corporation (NPC). This body is responsible for the implementation of digital financial infrastructure, the digital tenge, and the reorganization of the Kazakhstan Center for Interbank Settlements. The official press release stated that the NPC will also be in charge of supervising the National Payment Systems, Digital Identifications, Interbank money clearing, and transfers.
The NBK believes that the restructuring of these processes will increase the efficiency and security of the country’s payment architecture, as well as provide new possibilities. They also plan to introduce the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) digital tenge before 2025.
In February, Kazakhstan launched pilots with selected merchants and consumers in partnership with Binance, who have recently invested in the country by opening a digital asset exchange and partnering with local banks.
Kazakhstan is now considered to be a large digital asset hub in Central Asia due to the increasing adoption of crypto users and Bitcoin (BTC) miners after the Chinese mining ban. However, regulations have been put in place to limit the energy usage of crypto miners and to tweak the tax regime in the industry. It is believed that the recent push to CBDCs is a shift away from private cryptocurrencies.
The recent fall of FTX has also resulted in statements from financial authorities on asset custody. It is clear that the National Bank of Kazakhstan is committed to creating a secure and efficient digital financial infrastructure across the country.