According to a central bank official, the Republic of Uzbekistan will never accept cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) as a payment option. He further stated that the country won’t ever reconsider its decision.
Behzod Khamraev, deputy head of the Central Bank of Uzbekistan (CBU), projected that local authorities would never allow residents to use Bitcoin as a form of payment because it is unbacked.
Khamraev stated in an interview with local business journal Spot.uz that Bitcoin is largely seen as “speculative” and would never be equal to fiat currencies such as the US dollar, euro, Japanese yen, or Russian ruble.
The official stated that there are around 28 trillion soms in circulation in Uzbekistan, all of which are backed by the central bank’s assets.
“On the banknotes, there is even a notation concerning the regulator’s obligations,” Khamraev continued, “whereas cryptocurrency is not backed by anything.”
El Salvador became the first country in the world to accept Bitcoin as legal money alongside the US dollar on September 7, according to the official.
In late 2019, the director of the National Agency for Project Management (NAPM) under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan issued an order prohibiting Uzbek citizens from making payments in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
“On the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan, crypto assets cannot be utilized as a method of transmitting or receiving payments,” the directive stated.
The NAPM recommended legalizing cryptocurrency trading in Uzbekistan in April 2021, allowing residents to trade crypto assets for national and foreign currencies. In late 2019, the authorities had previously prohibited citizens from purchasing cryptocurrencies.