Ukraine legalizes bitcoin and cryptocurrencies

Ukraine legalizes bitcoin and cryptocurrencies

Ukraine is the fifth country to establish ground rules for the cryptocurrency market, a sign that governments around the world are realizing that bitcoin is here to stay.

In an almost unanimous vote, the Ukrainian parliament passed a law that legalizes and regulates cryptocurrencies. The bill was set in motion in 2020 – and now it’s going to President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office.

To date, crypto in Ukraine exists in a legal gray area.

Locals were allowed to buy and trade virtual currencies, but businesses and exchanges dealing with crypto were often under close scrutiny by law enforcement.

According to the Kiev Post, authorities tend to take a belligerent stance when it comes to virtual money, calling it a “scam,” raiding crypto-related companies and “frequently confiscating expensive equipment without any foundation ”. did.

In August, for example, the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) blocked a network called a “secret cryptocurrency exchange” operating in the capital of Kiev. SBU claimed that these exchanges facilitate money laundering and ensure the anonymity of transactions.

The new law offers some protection from fraud to those who own bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and for the first time for the Verkhovna Rada, lawmakers have attempted to define key terminology in the crypto world. If signed by the president, virtual assets, digital wallets and private keys are terms that would be enshrined in Ukrainian law.

Unlike El Salvador’s decision to adopt bitcoin as legal tender this week, Ukraine’s crypto law does not facilitate the deployment of bitcoin as a means of payment, nor does it equate it with the country’s national currency, the hryvnia. East.

However, today’s vote by the former nuclear power is part of a larger push by Kiev to look into bitcoin.

According to the Kiev Post, by 2022 the country plans to open up the cryptocurrency market to businesses and investors. Senior state officials are also advising investors and venture capital funds in Silicon Valley about their crypto credits.

During an official state visit to the United States last month, President Zelensky referred to the emergence of an “innovative legal market for virtual assets” in Ukraine as a selling point for investments, and the Ukrainian Minister of Digital Transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, said the country would not be able to to pay its payments. Modernize the market. So that its national bank can issue digital currency.

But for bitcoin supporters like Jeremy Rubin, Ukraine’s new law and political promises like this aren’t much.

“Improving Ukraine’s legal status for bitcoin is a laudable symbolic step as we move towards a world that universally respects individual rights,” said Rubin, CEO of the Bitcoin Judica R&D lab. “But this is only symbolic – bitcoin does not seek permission or forgiveness in its mission to protect persecuted communities from unjust governments.”

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