Kazakhstan to decide whether to launch CBDC by late 2022

One of the world’s biggest Bitcoin mining countries is still thinking about whether it needs a central bank digital currency.

Kazakhstan, one of the world’s largest countries in terms of Bitcoin mining hash power, is continuing to explore a potential central bank digital currency (CBDC).

The National Bank of Kazakhstan has completed a prototype of a digital tenge platform, governor Erbolat Dossayev announced, according to a report by local news agency Kazinform.

The central bank is now preparing to publish preliminary results of digital currency testing and a pilot CBDC project on Wednesday, Dossayev said. He noted that the pilot involved local financial companies and some international partners.

Despite actively moving forward with CBDC testing, Kazakhstan is yet to decide on whether to launch a digital representation of the national currency. According to Dossayev, the central bank expects to make such a decision in December 2022.

The National Bank of Kazakhstan has been increasingly paying attention to CBDC developments abroad, as multiple countries around the world develop their own digital currencies, the governor added.

Related: Bitcoin mining power crunch: Kazakhstan looks toward nuclear solution

Kazakhstan opened a public consultation on the potential CBDC in May 2021 after local authorities began considering a national digital currency the previous year.

Kazakhstan’s approach to launching a CBDC follows a similar plan by Russia, which is looking to roll out the first pilot tests for a digital ruble in early 2022.

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