Kazakhstan will continue looking into a central bank digital currency (CBDC) until 2025 at least, the central bank said in a report published Thursday.
In December 2021, the country said it was piloting a CBDC on R3’s Corda platform and would make a decision on whether to introduce one by the end of this year. In October, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said the National Bank of Kazakhstan will test use cases for the e-tenge on the company’s BNB Chain.
The bank said it has completed some phases of the trial, including refinement of the prototype and introduction for a limited number of participants. For the next two years, the country “will develop solutions for launching into industrial operation,” and will cooperate with other central banks on cross-border and currency-exchange operations, the report said. By December 2025 it will add more participants, aim to introduce offline capabilities and connect with non-bank mediators.
“The unique advantages of the national digital currency relates to conducting a chain of transactions offline,” the report said.
Countries around the world have been pressing ahead with CBDC exploration, with a few saying they are likely to issue one within 10 years. As many as 105 countries are exploring a CBDC, representing 95% of the global gross domestic product, according to the Atlantic Council, a U.S.-based think tank that focuses on international issues. Nigeria, the Bahamas, Jamaica and Eastern Caribbean have issued a CBDC, while China is further ahead than most countries in its CBDC trials.
Kazakhstan is also working with Binance on blockchain technology education. Binance, the largest crypto exchange by volume, will partner with the national bank’s Research Lab “Blockchain Center” on a program to introduce a blockchain program targeting 40,000 people, according to an emailed statement on Monday. The curriculum will be imbedded in university programs across the country.