Uzbekistan is not exactly what one would consider a democracy: the only thing that stopped Islam Karimov from being re-elected for the sixth presidency term was his death in 2016. Yet the former Soviet Republic is open to implementing new technology, as Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the current president of the state, signs a decree “On measures for digital economics development in the Republic of Uzbekistan.”
The latter’s purpose is to modernize the state which comparing to other post-Soviet republics is doing well economy-wise. “The decree details key development trends of digital economics globally. These include blockchain, a decentralized, distributed and public digital ledger technology, along with artificial intelligence or AI, supercomputers, and crypto-related activities,” writes RTT.
The plan is expected to be designed and implemented from 2018-2020. In 2021, the country plans to start integrating the technology ” into the operation of governmental agencies, systems of corporate management, and in clearing transactions.”
Concurrently, when it comes to cryptocurrencies the Uzbek government while being progressive and allowing these operations to take place still requires traders to acquire special licenses.
“The turnover of crypto assets is regulated by special regulatory legal acts. Operations related to this turnover are not subject to be taxed, while the revenues received are not included into the tax base,” the decree states.
Unlike Russia and Ukraine, also former parts of the USSR, which are still ambiguous when it comes both to blockchain and cryptocurrencies trying to decide its future and who will be in charge of controlling digital assets and whether the latter will be legalized in the first place, Uzbekistan seems to be on the forefront. That is a peculiar development given that its economy is predominantly closed while its political system is largely authoritarian.
Tashkent (the country’s capital) is also much more decisive than its close neighbor China which still does not know what it wants from cryptocurrencies and blockchain with the country’s stance continuously changing. And while Xi Jinping, President of China, has called blockchain a breakthrough, cryptocurrencies in the country are still banned.