The National Bank of Kazakhstan (NBK) has unveiled a dedicated entity tasked with the development and roll-out of the nation’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), known as the digital tenge.
In an official announcement made on September 15, the establishment of the National Payment Corporation (NPC) has been disclosed as a reorganization of the Kazakhstan Center for Interbank Settlements. This newly-formed body is set to take the reins of the national payment ecosystem, exercising authority over crucial functions such as interbank clearing services, monetary transfers, and digital identity verification.
One of the pivotal roles of the National Payment Corporation will be to oversee the creation of a robust “digital financial infrastructure,” paving the way for the eventual integration and deployment of the digital tenge.
The journey toward the digital tenge’s fruition commenced in February 2023, with an ambitious target set for its full implementation by 2025. NBK’s deputy governor, Berik Sholpankupov, initially outlined the central bank’s vision of fostering a symbiotic relationship between traditional finance and decentralized finance (DeFi). This visionary approach aims to expand financial inclusivity and bolster international trade.
Binance’s Vital Role in Kazakhstan’s CBDC Pilot
Presently, Kazakhstan’s CBDC pilot program is undergoing rigorous testing within a controlled environment, involving real consumers and merchants. Crucially, one of the program’s key collaborators is none other than the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance. Leveraging its cutting-edge technical solution, BNB Chain, Binance is playing an instrumental role in facilitating the pilot phase.
This partnership gained further momentum in June when Binance made a groundbreaking announcement about the launch of a regulated digital asset platform in Kazakhstan. This strategic endeavor was executed in conjunction with the local Freedom Finance Bank, enabling users to seamlessly transfer fiat currency into their platform accounts, thus solidifying Kazakhstan’s position in the rapidly evolving world of digital finance.
As Kazakhstan takes these bold steps towards the digital future, the successful development and launch of the digital tenge under the stewardship of the National Payment Corporation promises to be a pivotal moment in the nation’s financial landscape.