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Uzbekistan bans buying crypto in u-turn

Sam Webb

The government of Uzbekistan has banned citizens from buying crypto, local media reports.

Local news outlet Novosti Uzbekistana reports the National Project Management Agency won’t even let nationals use established exchanges.

The report states many locals are experiencing difficulties trading Bitcoin and other tokens and blockchain experts are concerned Uzbek authorities are stifling the country’s technological development.

Traders are allowed to sell their coins on two licensed platforms within the country, but each trader is required to undergo a detailed identification procedure to prevent money laundering.

It is a remarkable u-turn from September, when Uzbekistan took a step towards legalising cryptocurrency exchanges by presidential decree.

Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev signed the decree, which follows an earlier executive order issued in July which laid the groundwork for regulation of crypto activities.

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The document details rules that trading platforms have to meet before being allowed to operate in the country, such as establishing local offices.

The National Agency for Project Management were set to ensure compliance, particularly, in regards to money laundering and terrorism financing.

And in April Uzbekistan sent a high-level delegate to the IMF World Bank event to study Bitcoin and blockchain.

The delegate suggested Uzbekistan should not be counted out of the race to be the first to issue a sovereign Bitcoin bond, according to reports.

An Uzbek sovereign Bitcoin bond, he said, could be combined with the cotton futures market – since Uzbekistan is the world’s fifth-largest producer of cotton.

 

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