Tenge: Road to the global markets

The XI Kazakhstan Financial Congress, marking the 30th anniversary of the country’s national currency, the tenge, was held in Almaty. The event gathered leaders from central banks and financial institutions of both CIS and foreign countries. Binur Zhalenov, Chairman of the National Payments Corporation of Kazakhstan, launched the platform of digital tenge in a pilot mode, marking a historic moment. Now, the digital Tenge is available for payment across all existing infrastructures.

“For example, when a school student swipes the card at the terminal, a developed smart contract is triggered, automatically directing the payment to the local authorities’ budget. No need for accountants, intermediaries, or processing centers. This trigger acts as a signal,” Ainur Kenzhayeva, Head of the Digital Tenge Project, said.

In terms of technology, the project employs a blockchain system, which makes the digital national currency smarter. Now, individuals themselves have the capability to program each digital Tenge for a specific task.

“Let's imagine you are a parent sharing 10,000 tenge with your child, and you want to ensure they don’t spend it on cigarettes or alcoholic beverages. Digital Tenge facilitates that control. Similarly, consider a government agency aiming to target its state aid and ensure transparency. Digital Tenge is of great help here as well,” Zhalenov said.

Additionally, a new series of national currency banknotes was presented at today’s Financial Congress. Inspired by the elements of the ‘Saka style’, it reflects the country's heritage, from the unique culture of nomads to modern-day Kazakhstan.

“The elements themselves are demonstrative and indicative, so the National Bank of Kazakhstan decided to showcase and make them available to all Kazakh residents,” said Sanzhar Nurkassimov, Chief Designer of the National Bank of Kazakhstan’s Banknotes and Coins Design Unit.

The Congress brought together over 300 participants. Representatives of the financial community discussed matters related to Kazakhstan’s monetary policy in the current environment, macroeconomic stability, and fiscal discipline, as well as topics such as cyber resilience of the financial sector and the role of innovation in the global change of financial markets.