Uzbekistan Initiates Pilot Project for Mastercard Crypto Cards with Ravnaq Bank and Kapital Bank as Authorized Issuers
Crypto News – In a pioneering move within Uzbekistan, two banks have been granted the authority to issue Mastercard-backed cryptocurrency cards as part of a pilot project. The anticipated launch is set for the end of December 2023.
The National Agency for Prospective Projects (NAPP) in Uzbekistan has granted authorization to Ravnaq Bank and Kapital Bank for the issuance of Mastercard-powered cryptocurrency cards. This innovative initiative marks the beginning of a trial program enabling users to utilize their cryptocurrencies for expenditures. The Mastercard crypto cards will be associated with crypto-wallets situated on an exchange, allowing for seamless conversion of digital assets into traditional fiat currency.
NAPP’s specific provisions for the upcoming “Crypto Cards – Uznex” encompass features such as the automatic replenishment of bank card accounts through the rapid liquidation of crypto holdings within a partner’s designated crypto exchange. The aim is to facilitate efficient settlement operations.
The official launch for the pilot program, involving Mastercard crypto cards, is scheduled to take place towards the conclusion of December 2023.
Mastercard’s foray into the crypto card arena within Uzbekistan represents a novel development in the financial sector. The initiative brings new financial institutions into an existing cohort of entities authorized to issue Mastercard-backed cryptocurrency cards.
Notably, an earlier announcement by Aussie Fintech Stables in late June introduced the first Asia Pacific virtual stablecoin card in collaboration with Mastercard and Circle. This virtual card empowers users to securely and conveniently utilize their stablecoin balances via the Mastercard network, both in physical establishments and online platforms where Mastercard is accepted.
Another project involving Mastercard is the Mastercard Wirex crypto card, enabling users to earn euros or EURS stablecoin on a 1:1 basis through their associated bank accounts. The card, which operates as a multi-currency contactless Mastercard, allows expenditures in both traditional fiat currency and cryptocurrencies. The latter are automatically converted into the local currency at interbank rates during point-of-sale transactions.
Looking further back, in February 2023, renowned crypto-exchange Binance introduced its Mastercard cryptocurrency card in Brazil. This debit card facilitates real-time conversion of Brazilians’ crypto holdings into euros at the time of each transaction, enabling seamless spending directly from their crypto accounts.
Beyond its involvement in cryptocurrency cards, Mastercard has recently established the CBDC Partner Program, aiming to collaborate with pivotal players in the Central Bank Digital Currency landscape. Ripple, offering a dedicated CBDC development solution, was among the initial partners selected by Mastercard. This initiative does not seek to issue CBDCs directly, but rather to support central banks worldwide in developing such digital currencies that bring tangible value to their respective economies.