Binance Among Crypto Exchanges Blocked as Uzbekistan Clamps Down

FTX and Huobi are also inaccessible as the authorities restrict access to unlicensed centralized trading platforms.

AccessTimeIconAug 11, 2022 at 12:36 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 6:11 p.m. UTC

The 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 that the exchange's website hasn't been accessible for users in Uzbekistan since Tuesday. Huobi, FTX, Bybit and others are also blocked, he said.

Binance is 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 organization," the statement reads. CIS, or the Commonwealth of Independent States, is an organization of former Soviet republics.

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

Under a law from 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 that have gotten one so far is the local exchange UzNEX, Forklog wrote.

In May, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the country's president, 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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Anna Baydakova

Anna Baydakova was CoinDesk's investigative reporter with a special focus on Eastern Europe and Russia. Anna owns BTC and an NFT.