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Some governments are unwilling to abandon the crypto sector despite the ongoing FTX contagion. The governing body of the crypto sector in Uzbekistan has granted exchange licenses to two companies. Reports indicate that Uzbekistan plans to introduce a new encryption system in 2023.

This is not the first time that Uzbekistan has highlighted “unlikely” trade routes. Uzbekistan is the most populous country in Central Asia, and it has a rich history, culture and diversity. It has been part of several empires and was once the main hub of the Silk Road, making it an ideal site for history buffs. The country is landlocked and its neighbors are Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Uzbekistan allows crypto exchanges for the first time

The National Agency for Perspective Projects (NAPP) of Uzbekistan issued licenses to two companies offering crypto exchange services. The government has registered Crypto Trade NET and Crypto Market as “Crypto Asset Turnover Service Providers”.

According to the NAPP Electronic License Register, Crypto Trade NET and Crypto Market are both headquartered in Tashkent. The data also identifies Kamolitdin Nuritdinov as the sole creator and shareholder of the Crypto Market. Additionally, Behzod Achilov is the sole founder and owner of Crypto Trade NET.

The NAPP, which is subject to the Tashkent Presidency, is the main regulator of the crypto sector in the Central Asian republic. The agency added that the Republic of Uzbekistan is one of the few countries that has a well-developed framework for regulating the circulation of crypto assets.

According to the announcement, the NAPP granted licenses to two companies in accordance with the presidential decree of April 2022 which defines the conditions for the circulation of crypto assets in Uzbekistan. However, one of the platforms seems to have a working website as of now.

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev expanded the regulatory framework earlier this year by signing an executive order that gave legal definitions for crypto assets, trading, and mining. Additionally, the government has imposed additional registration requirements for miners and implemented monthly fees for crypto businesses.

Although there is currently a cryptocurrency exchange in Uzbekistan, Uznex, a government-owned company, both licensed companies will operate as digital currency exchangers or “crypto shops” as the legislation specifies.

It should be noted that Crypto Trade NET LLC and Crypto Market LLC became the first crypto stores in the CIS and Central Asia. [..] Crypto shops are designed to make it easier for citizens to buy or sell crypto assets.

The National Agency for Perspective Projects (NAPP)

The National Agency for Prospect Projects further warned Uzbek nationals to exercise utmost vigilance and avoid using the services of unauthorized e-commerce platforms.

The announcement comes shortly after the government of Uzbekistan suspended a number of prominent global crypto exchanges for not having the required license to provide crypto trading services.

The block hit crypto companies such as Binance and Houbi. However, customers were apparently able to access their websites via VPN. After announcing the measures in August 2022, the NAPP later removed the announcement.

Uzbekistan is aggressively planning to implement a new crypto regulatory framework in the coming months. On January 1, 2023, the Uzbek government will only allow licensed cryptocurrency businesses to provide crypto services to Uzbek nationals.

El Salvador opens its first BTC office

Uzbekistan is not the only country undertaking “first-time crypto” initiatives today. El Salvador has created the National Bitcoin Board (ONBTC), which will oversee all Bitcoin-related initiatives.

The new agency will serve as a functionally and technically autonomous administrative division within the Office of the President. The entity was founded by Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele and Decree No. 49 of the Minister of Tourism, which was published in the Official Gazette.

The entity’s tasks include conceptualizing and disseminating knowledge about Bitcoin, block chainand cryptocurrencies in El Salvador to “media and anyone interested”.

Additionally, the ONBTC, or National Bitcoin Office, will assist global bitcoin, blockchain, and crypto entrepreneurs and investors who wish to do business in El Salvador or visit the country, as well as actively promote El Salvador’s participation in international forums.

Additionally, the ONBTC would be responsible for managing and analyzing all individuals requesting meetings with the President to introduce Bitcoin and blockchain technology in El Salvador.

The Bitcoin Office is also responsible for coordinating efforts related to the formulation of appropriate bitcoin and blockchain policies, as established by the presidency.

The Bitcoin Desk Manager will be appointed by the President of El Salvador, who will also have the right to appoint staff members as needed to carry out the functions of the institution.

El Salvador was the first country to recognize Bitcoin as legal tender in 2021, becoming the first to do so. President Bukele of El Salvador said a week ago that the Central American country would start buying one Bitcoin (BTC) per day.

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