Kazakhstan has officially launched its state-backed central bank digital currency (CBDC) called the digital tenge. The digital currency is designed to simplify payments and promote economic growth. The CEO of the Kazakhstan National Bank's National Payment Corporation (NPC) conducted the first-ever digital tenge transaction. The CBDC represents Kazakhstan's third official fiat option and has been integrated into existing payment cards in collaboration with Visa, Mastercard, and local banks. Residents can use the CBDC for global transactions through supported options like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. The digital tenge is pegged to the same value and legal status as the Kazakhstan Tenge. It operates on a blockchain or centralized ledger and offers electronic transactions, instant settlements, and potential improvements in the country's monetary policy. The CBDC is secured by the obligations of the state represented by the National Bank, ensuring the safety of residents' funds. The digital tenge can be cashed worldwide through regular ATMs. Future plans include prioritizing offline payments and integrating the CBDC into cross-border trade practices. A survey conducted in 2022 showed that 60% of Kazakhstan citizens are ready to use the digital tenge for day-to-day transactions. The National Bank hopes that more consumers, merchants, and businesses will adopt the new payment solution.
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