Kazakhstan's central bank to test BNB Chain for its digital currency

Quick Take

  • Kazakhstan’s central bank has agreed to trial BNB Chain for its digital currency, a Binance spokesperson told The Block.
  • The development comes shortly after Binance received a license to operate in Kazakhstan.

The National Bank of Kazakhstan (NBK) has agreed to test Binance's blockchain network BNB Chain for potential integration into the country's central bank digital currency (CBDC), the exchange giant said. 

Binance recently met with two NBK officials — deputy governor Berik Sholpankulov and head of payment and technological center Binur Zhalenov — Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao tweeted on Wednesday. The company introduced the two officials to the BNB Chain community to discuss testing the blockchain integration in digital tenge, according to Zhao.

"Binance and NBK agreed to test NBK CBDC (digital tenge) integration on BNB Chain," a Binance spokesperson told The Block when contacted for comment. "There is ongoing discussion on specific use cases to be tested." The central bank didn't immediately respond to The Block's request for comment.

The NBK started the digital tenge pilot project in 2021 to study the benefits and costs of the possible implementation of digital currency. In July of this year, the central bank developed a decision-making model for digital tenge implementation, and by the end of this year, it is expected to make a final decision on the implementation.

"Implementation of digital tenge will increase financial inclusion, including via introducing offline payments," the bank said at the time. "The digital tenge infrastructure will become an extra tool for the financial market's participants and government agencies, which will provide an opportunity to create innovative services based on smart contract technology. In future, introduction of digital tenge will also enhance cross-border payments."

Zhao, in his tweets, said Binance is looking forward to NBK preparing CBDC use cases and how it could integrate BNB Chain.

The development comes shortly after Binance received a license to operate in Kazakhstan. In August, the Astana Financial Services Authority awarded Binance a permit to offer crypto trading and custody services at the Astana International Financial Center. Earlier this month, Binance also signed an agreement with Kazakhstan's Financial Monitoring Agency to formalize their shared interest in developing the digital asset market in the country.

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