Binance, one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges, has been blocked in Uzbekistan.
The country’s National Agency for Perspective Projects confirmed the news on Wednesday.
This has prompted a response from Binance head for Eastern Europe Gleb Kostarev, who said that the website has not been accessible in Uzbekistan since at least Tuesday.
However, Binance is not an outlier. The cryptocurrency exchange is just one of many to have been blocked.
Other websites that can no longer be accessed and specialize in cryptocurrencies include FTX, Bybit and Huobi.
In a statement, Binance confirmed it maintained an interest in the CIS region.
“Binance continues to mature and expand across CIS as a more traditionally regulated fintech organization”, the statement read.
Uzbekistan’s own account of events said that the country had to block cryptocurrency exchanges because its laws do not allow citizens to trade cryptocurrencies on foreign platforms.
Any cryptocurrency activities must be licensed and operated in the country explicitly, the statement continued. This is as per a law passed in 2018 which is likely to continue shape the use case of cryptocurrencies in the country.
Customers who have their funds stuck on these exchanges will have to seek ways to retrieve them to other licensed entities that Uzbekistan approves of or withdraw them into cold storage.
Binance has not confirmed any intention to license its operations by obtaining a permit in Uzbekistan at this point.
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