Uzbekistan Raises Crypto Operation Fees

Uzbekistan’s National Agency for Prospective Projects (NAPP) has announced a new directive that increases the monthly fees for participants in the country’s cryptocurrency market. This directive, issued on March 19, 2024, is an amendment to a previous directive initiated by the Ministry of Justice in September 2022. The NAPP has decided to revise the fee structure after assessing the profitability of the crypto retail and exchange sectors. The new fees will have an impact on both entities.

Under the updated fee system, crypto exchanges will now face a monthly fee of 740 Basis Reference Value (BRV), equivalent to 251.6 million Uzbekistan som (UZS) or $20,015. This is a significant increase from the previous fee of 400 BRV or UZS 136 million ($10,819). The BRV is used for calculating financial transactions such as taxes, fees, and fines. Crypto retailers will also experience a notable increase in fees, with a new monthly fee of 185 BRV, totaling UZS 62.9 million ($5,003), compared to the previous fee of just 20 BRV or UZS 6.8 million ($540).

The main objective of these fee modifications is to boost the revenue generated by the crypto sector for the state. The NAPP expects the revenue to double once the new fee structure is implemented. The agency assures that the financial stability of industry service providers will not be negatively impacted by these changes. The new fee structure is set to become effective on June 20, three months after its official publication.

This new directive from the NAPP comes shortly after the agency signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with stablecoin issuer Tether. The details of this partnership are currently undisclosed, but Tether plans to collaborate with Uzbekistan’s regulators to establish a legal and regulatory framework for crypto assets in the country. It is also worth mentioning that the NAPP filed a lawsuit against Binance last month, alleging that the exchange operated without a license and failed to pay a fine. Uzbekistan only allows licensed exchanges that host their trading servers within the country.

Since 2023, the government of Uzbekistan has restricted the provision of crypto services to licensed cryptocurrency firms. The first licenses were granted to local crypto firms in November 2022. Prior to this, access to several international crypto exchanges, including Binance, FTX, and Huobi, was restricted due to accusations of unlicensed activity.

Shelby Deramus

Shelby Deramus

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