Kazakhstan's Digital Tenge Successfully Concludes Pilot Project; Ambitious Plans for 2024 Unveiled

digital currency
Digital currency (Pics: Pixabay)

World.qlee.xyz. December 16, 2023 - Kazakhstan's journey into the realm of digital currency has seen a triumphant start as the central bank's digital currency, the digital tenge, wraps up its month-long pilot project. The successful trial period has paved the way for a series of enhancements in 2024, involving business, regulatory, and technical advancements.

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One of the notable achievements during the pilot run was the utilization of the digital tenge to provide schoolchildren in Almaty with free lunches. This innovative initiative leveraged the local Onay card, originally designed for the transit system, with the Kazpost postal system operator facilitating transactions.

As part of the experiment, plastic cards were issued to focus groups by four local banks in collaboration with global giants Visa and Mastercard. These cards enabled users to make purchases both in-person and online, as well as withdraw cash from ATMs. Merchants had the flexibility to accept digital tenge directly or convert them to "non-cash" tenge. The latter option seamlessly integrated digital tenge into existing point-of-sale and QR systems, making it a pioneering move in the world of central bank digital currencies.

A tweet from Yerzhan Ashikbayev, a key figure in the digital currency initiative, highlighted a positive meeting with Mastercard, showcasing ongoing efforts for continuous implementation and regional expansion.

Other groundbreaking experiments included cross-border payments via SWIFT, the issuance of CBDC-backed stablecoins on Binance and KASE platforms, tokenizing gold using digital tenges, and utilizing smart contracts for collecting value-added tax. Additionally, a move-to-earn app was trialed, showcasing the versatility of the digital tenge.

The National Bank of Kazakhstan and the recently established National Payment Corporation of Kazakhstan (NPCK) have ambitious goals for 2024. These include expanding the number of intermediary banks, further developing decentralized finance applications, and enhancing the interoperability of the digital tenge for offline transactions at scale. This move aims to significantly boost financial inclusion in regions with limited internet connectivity.

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The agencies also expressed their intent to increase participation in cross-border payment projects, highlighting Kazakhstan's role as an observer in Project mBridge. Simultaneously, they emphasized the importance of addressing regulatory and legislative goals to ensure the secure and swift processing of digital tenge transactions.

In an interview preceding the report's release, NPCK CEO Binur Zhalenov reassured the public that digital tenge would not be used for user surveillance, underlining the commitment to privacy and security in the digital currency landscape. As Kazakhstan continues to make strides in the digital currency space, the successful pilot project sets the stage for a transformative year ahead.

Muhamad Ali

Hello there! I'm a passionate content creator, avid blogger, and video enthusiast based in Indonesia.

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