President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev signed on July 3, 2018, a decree touching upon measures and methods to build a digital economy by adopting blockchain technology and developing a healthy cryptocurrency market.
According to local media, the key tasks for the further development of a digital economy are as follows:
Adoption and development of cryptocurrencies, including mining, issuance, exchange, storage, distribution, management, and consulting related to virtual currencies. Besides, the document calls for the implementation of blockchain technology and smart contracts to diversify the various approaches related to investment and entrepreneurial operations. Initial coin offerings (ICOs) are also encouraged.
Training of developers to build blockchain applications.
Development of cooperation with foreign entities that operate in the cryptocurrency and blockchain markets. The decree calls for local institutions to attract international experts to build and implement joint projects with local firms.
Creation of a legal framework for blockchain considering the best practices of active countries.
Establishing close interaction between state agencies and business entities to implement innovative ideas and technologies in the context of the digital economy.
The document says that the National Project Management Agency (NAPU), a new body that was set up in 2017, will become responsible for the implementation and development of the digital economy. The agency will decide the areas of activity in which the distributed ledger technology (DLT) will be adopted. It will also have a major contribution to the creation of a legal framework.
It is worth mentioning that the operations with cryptocurrencies carried out by legal entities and individuals are not subject to taxes and the revenues from crypto transactions are not included in the database of taxes and mandatory payments.
NAPU and the Ministry of Development of Information Technologies and Communications (Mininfocom) have to develop and implement the program for the development of blockchain in the period between 2018 and 2020. From 2021, the program should focus on the introduction of blockchain in the activities of government agencies.
Recently, Malta became the first country to approve crypto and blockchain-related bills favourable for the markets.
In the region of central Asia, Uzbekistan is also not the only country that shows interest in the crypto and blockchain sector. Last year, its neighbour Kazakhstan hinted that it might launch a state-issued cryptocurrency.