Kazakhstan Reveals Preliminary Results of Digital Tenge Implementation Project

ASTANA – The National Bank of Kazakhstan (NBK) and the National Payment Corporation unveiled the preliminary outcomes of the initial phase of the digital tenge implementation project on Nov. 21, reported the NBK’s press service.

Photo credit: kapital.kz.

The digital tenge platform was launched in a pilot mode, with the NBK issuing the digital tenge to the digital accounts of participating banks. The first retail transaction in the digital tenge took place on Nov. 15 during the 11th Kazakhstan Financial Congress.

NBK Deputy Governor Berik Sholpankulov highlighted that a digital tenge is a third form of national currency and an obligation of the NBK, alongside cash. The architecture of the digital tenge platform is based on a two-level model of the financial market.

“Interaction with end consumers, both individuals and legal entities, will continue exclusively through financial market participants,” he said.

The mechanism of digital vouchers for government payments has been tested in collaboration with the Almaty Akimat (administration).

Yerlan Ashykbekov, director of the NBK’s payment systems department, stated that the new form of the national currency has unique attributes, including programmability, technological capabilities for international payments, and smart contract execution. It will also have payment without internet access in the future.

“The digital tenge is one of the main components of the Digital Financial Infrastructure built by the NBK,” he stressed.

Digital cards in the digital tenge are being issued in partnership with international payment systems Visa and Mastercard and four second-tier banks. These are the world’s first cards linked to clients’ digital accounts in the central bank’s digital currency.

“The digital tenge ecosystem has been launched, and soon, Kazakh citizens will be able to use the first products based on it,” announced National Payment Corporation CEO Binur Zhalenov.

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