With an almost unanimous vote, the parliament of Ukraine passed a bill which legalizes and regulates crypto assets. Set in motion in the year 2020, the bill is now headed to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for the final formality. Ukraine is now the 5th country in the past 5 weeks to lay down firm rules related to cryptocurrency.
History of Cryptocurrency in Ukraine
The legality of cryptocurrency in Ukraine was dubious before the passing of the new bill.
Citizens could purchase and exchange digital currencies. But the government kept a close scrutinizing vigilance over the exchange companies that operated the crypto trade. Ukraine’s prominent newspaper Kyiv Post noted that in the past the government authorities held an aggressive stance towards cryptocurrencies. The crypto trade was labeled as a scam and the businesses were raided. Sometimes, costly equipment was confiscated without any solid incriminating evidence.
In August, SBU (Security Services of Ukraine) obstructed a crypto network operating in the capital city of Kyiv. According to SBU, these exchanges were encouraging money laundering.
Changes in Attitude
With the new legislative bill, such backlash from authorities will not be a problem anymore. The bill grants protection against fraud for the owners of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC). If President Zelenskyy signs the bills, the Ukrainian law will have new terminologies like digital wallets and virtual assets embedded in its lexicon.
An interesting point to note is that, unlike El Salvador, Ukraine’s bill does not recognize cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin as a legal tender. Digital currencies will not enjoy equal footing with Ukraine’s national currency, the Hryvnia.