Kazakhstan has officially introduced its central bank digital currency (CBDC), known as the ‘digital tenge.’
The first-ever transaction using this digital currency took place on November 15, orchestrated by Binur Zhalenov, the chairman of Kazakhstan’s National Payment Corporation.
Zhalenov utilized a debit card linked to a CBDC account for this historic purchase in Almaty, marking the official entry of the digital tenge into the retail market.
With significant developments planned for 2024, including interoperability with global payment systems like Visa and Mastercard, the digital tenge is positioned to be accessible worldwide through digital wallets such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.
Beyond being a form of currency, the digital tenge is designed to execute smart contracts and facilitate digital asset transfers. Plans are in place to integrate it into international trade by 2025, showcasing Kazakhstan’s commitment to technological advancement.
This milestone follows the digital currency’s initiation in February 2023 and the establishment of the National Payment Corporation in September to spearhead the country’s digital transformation.
As Kazakhstan takes swift strides in implementing its CBDC, it concurrently tightens control over the cryptocurrency market.
Foreign crypto exchanges, like Coinbase and Kraken, are now inaccessible without a local license, and crypto miners are challenging new tax rates through legal avenues.