Uzbekistan Restricts Access to International Crypto Trading Platforms

Crypto enthusiasts in Uzbekistan will no longer access some global crypto trading platforms after the country’s government restricts access to these avenues. In an announcement, the government revealed that the move was due to some institutions reportedly operating against the law. Through the National Agency of Perspective Projects (NAPP), the government said the blocked institutions offer virtual currency trading services without obtaining a green light from the country’s regulators.

Closely examining the announcement reveals that the country requires foreign cryptocurrency exchanges to set up shop in the country to avoid access restrictions. For example, the government accused international virtual currency platforms of abandoning their legal responsibility for digital asset-based transactions, failing to sift legitimate and illegitimate dealings, lack of confidentiality, and standard storage of “personal data of” its Uzbekistan users.

The country currently relies on regulations formulated in 2018 under a presidential decree. The decree hinged on increasing crypto-based activities through a digital economy. NAPP, a newly formed entity, assumed the responsibility to oversee crypto activities in the country in April this year. Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the country’s president, entrusted NAPP to develop a framework to regulate Uzbekistan’s virtual currency space.

In mid this year, the crypto watchdog announced that the country would only host crypto miners powering their rigs with solar power. In an announcement in June, NAPP noted that a “solar photovoltaic power plant must power mining rigs.” NAPP also directed aspiring cryptocurrency miners to obtain a license and be on the country-wide registry of virtual currency miners. Some global crypto exchanges operating in Uzbekistan include Huobi and Binance. However, the announcement didn’t disclose the names of the blocked exchanges.

In its recent pronouncement, NAPP urged citizens to report persons or entities “operating based on suspicious schemes using crypto-assets” in Uzbekistan.