The Rising Cryptocurrency Market in Central Asia

The ancient madrasahs of Registan Square, Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

Central Asia is a vast, mineral-rich area south of Russia. The region’s countries were all once part of the Soviet Union before its dissolution in 1991. Many have since kept a centralised state and been under the rule of dictatorships since their establishment. Large swathes of rare minerals spread across these lands make the region not only culturally significant, but also economically significant. Recent years have seen this region become a major hub of cryptocurrency and digital assets. Cryptolydian examines the phenomenon in this very historical region of the world.

Digital currency

Still in the sphere of influence of Russia’s massive socio-political arm, Central Asia largely functions in collaboration with Moscow. Russia’s recent legitimisation of digital currency has of course been of great benefit to the countries of Central Asia.

In 2018, Cointelegraph reported that Uzbekistan had ordered the creation of a state-mandated blockchain fund in an effort to boost interest in and usage of cryptocurrency in that country. Kazakhstan too has seen major interest in cryptocurrency. In June 2018, the country hosted a fintech conference in the capital city, Astana. However, the conservative banking systems of these countries have looked critically at the unregulated and largely decentralised nature of cryptocurrency.

News Central Asia stressed that cryptocurrency is important in the region, as it will minimise the great number of micro transactions that occur in those economies.

Central Asia’s role

Central Asia’s controversial neighbour Iran has also been known as a great crypto-mining destination. But due to sanctions and boycotts on Tehran from the West, many companies have been sighting Central Asia as the future of crypto mining, reports Cointelegraph. Rich in mineral resources and without the political baggage of Iran, the region is more corporation friendly.

What can be said is that huge potential lies in this corner of the world. Central Asia’s economies may flourish even further if they take the lead of fellow resource-rich countries like Venezuela and Iran and invest in blockchain infrastructure.

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Raïs Tarek 87 Articles
Journalist and lawyer, with a passion for global politics, economics and current affairs.