On November 15th, Kazakhstan formally unveiled the digital tenge, its central bank digital currency (CBDC), which functions in a restricted setting with actual users. The pilot programme was started by the National Bank of Kazakhstan in coordination with second-tier banks and their customers. Plans to create a CBDC in the Central Asian nation date back to 2021, but the government didn’t really start working on it until February of this year.
A major milestone was reached when Binur Zhalenov, Chairman of Kazakhstan’s National Payment Corporation (NPC), carried out the first-ever retail transaction with the digital tenge via a debit card connected to the CBDC account. The integration of digital tenge on cards is being supported by Visa and Mastercard, two of the biggest payment companies in Kazakhstan. Zhalenov emphasised the flexibility of the digital tenge in relation to financial services, digital asset exchanges, and smart contracts. The development of CBDC will soon concentrate on integrating cross-border trade by 2025 and facilitating offline payments by 2024. By the end of 2025, the digital tenge is expected to have been fully implemented.
According to research, the value of CBDC payments is predicted to increase from just $100 million in 2023 to $213 billion yearly by 2030. By 2030, 92% of the entire value transacted via CBDCs is expected to be paid domestically, according to a Juniper Research analysis. The main objective of Banco Central do Brasil’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), which is anticipated to be deployed in 2024, is to improve financial services in the nation. In contrast, Digital Euro is scheduled for completion by the end of 2025. The initiative has entered the preparatory stage after a two-year research phase, as confirmed by the ECB Governing Council.