Kazakhstan is getting closer to launch its digital currency (CBDC), following in the footsteps of other former Soviet nations like Russia and Belarus. The Central Bank has presented a detailed proposal for a digital version of their currency, the tenge, to the nation’s Supreme Audit Chamber. Although initial tests were conducted in 2021, the bank now shows more evident intent to proceed with the CBDC.
This announcement coincided with Russia’s pilot of the digital ruble and Belarus’s plan for a digital fiat. The digital tenge is not meant to replace physical or electronic payments but will be introduced as a third currency option. Like its counterparts in Moscow and Minsk, the Kazakh Central Bank envisions the digital tenge being usable offline.
At its core, the Central Bank foresees the CBDC as a catalyst for modernizing and advancing payment systems. This strategic vision aligns seamlessly with their previous pronouncements. The Central Bank’s structured roadmap entails a meticulously planned three-stage launch, aiming to fully operational the digital tenge by 2025. Interestingly, this timeline closely parallels Russia’s projection of their digital currency becoming widely accessible from 2025 to 2027.
Recently, on July 25, 2023, President Vladimir Putin approved the digital ruble bill, allowing Russia’s central bank to create a digital currency (CBDC) from August 2023. This digital ruble aims to modernize financial transactions, offering convenience and cost savings for individuals and businesses.
Meanwhile, on August 8, 2023, Belarus followed Russia’s lead by developing a central bank digital currency (CBDC), a digital version of the Belarusian Ruble for cross-border payments. The National Bank of the Republic of Belarus (NBRB) views this as a significant project, with the goal of enhancing financial transactions.
As Kazakhstan edges closer to the threshold of this groundbreaking digital financial landscape, it stands assured of leveraging the potential of its CBDC to usher in a new era of payment innovation and economic evolution.
In addition to this significant CBDC advancement, Kazakhstan also holds a prominent position as a major player in crypto mining, having generated $7 million in taxes just last year, it is worth noting that crypto mining caused power shortages, leading to higher electricity charges. The Central Bank is considering a digital tenge. Recent moves in Moscow and Minsk have influenced Kazakhstan’s interest, as Russian banks conducted real digital ruble transactions alongside Moscow’s coin launch.