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Binance Among Crypto Exchanges Blocked as Uzbekistan Clamps Down

Websites of global cryptocurrency exchanges have been blocked in Uzbekistan, the National Agency for Perspective Projects said Wednesday.

Gleb Kostarev, Binance’s head of Eastern Europe, confirmed the website has not been accessible for users in Uzbekistan since Aug. 9. Huobi, FTX, Bybit and others are also blocked, he said.

Binance is currently negotiating with Uzbekistan authorities about the exchange’s status in the country, the company said in a statement.

“Binance continues to mature and expand across CIS as a more traditionally regulated fintech organisation,” the statement reads. CIS, or the Commonwealth of Independent States, is an organization of former USSR republics.

According to the agency announcement, Uzbekistan restricted access to cryptocurrency exchanges and over-the-counter brokers because the country’s regulations do not allow citizens to trade crypto on foreign platforms.

Under a law from July 2018, crypto mining pools, exchanges, custodians and “crypto-shops” must be licensed to operate in the country. Back then, the country was looking to attract global crypto exchanges into the country with tax benefits.

The agency told the Forklog news service that foreign platforms still need a license to operate in Uzbekistan. The only exchange to have got one so far is the local exchange UzNEX, Forklog wrote.

This May, the country’s president Shavkat Mirziyoyev published a framework for regulating cryptocurrencies and assigned the National Agency for Perspective Projects the role of the industry’s watchdog.

   

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