Ukraine: The Most Recent Country to Legalize Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency

Ukraine: The Most Recent Country to Legalize Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency

In the wake of the crypto takeover, slowly but surely, one country after the other is working on regulating Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general. Ukraine has only been the latest to take it to the parliament and discuss the legal background of crypto.

In a near-unanimous vote, the Ukrainian parliament has adopted a new law regulating and legalizing cryptocurrency and similar virtual assets. The crypto bill was set in motion in 2020. The next step in the regulation process is for President Volodymyr Zelensky to sign the bill.

Setting up ground rules for crypto has been a priority for some countries. Ukraine joins the crypto club as the fifth to introduce digital currency related laws. This decision follows El Salvador and its move to take on Bitcoin as legal tender

Ukraine Crypto Law

What Does it Mean?

As stated by the bill’s draft, the law serves as protection of virtual asset owners and crypto exchange platforms from fraud. Cryptocurrencies in Ukraine have been in a legal grey zone. They were neither legal nor forbidden, which is due to the fact that no existing laws define their usage.

In the case of Ukraine and its citizens, buying and exchanging crypto is allowed. Still, the downside is that no local court nor other regulatory institution could protect their people from fraudulent activity.

The new legislation suggests more protective measures against fraud regarding Bitcoin and other digital assets, such as tokens. Ukrainian lawmakers are focused on defining terminology related to the world of crypto. If the president signs off on the new law, that means that virtual assets, private keys, and digital wallets will be the terms specified by Ukrainian law.

Bitcoin, Law, Ukraine

How Ukraine Perceived Crypto Up Until Now

Kyiv Post reports show the authorities and their antagonistic stance towards virtual money, perceiving it as a “scam.” The officials often raided crypto-related businesses and confiscated costly mining equipment with no grounds to do so. 

In August, for instance, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) pulled the plug on a covert cryptocurrency exchange network handling operations in the capital, Kyiv. The secret service believed these exchanges were enabling money laundering, along with providing transaction confidentiality. 

Ukraine, El Salvador, Bitcoin

Ukraine and Its Crypto Future

Contrary to El Salvador, Ukraine and its future crypto law do not enable the rollout of Bitcoin as a payment option. It will not put Bitcoin or any other digital coin next to the hryvnia, the country’s national currency.

The crypto bill is part of a broader push by Kyiv to rely on Bitcoin and crypto in general. The country plans on opening the crypto market for investors and businesses by 2022. Top state officials have also lead the way by openly proclaiming their newly found interest in crypto investing. 

A significant announcement by Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation, is painting Ukraine’s crypto future clearly. Per his words, the country is working on payment market modernization. Along with these changes, the Nation Bank will subsequently be able to issue digital currency on its own.