Ukraine has become the fifth country in as many weeks to lay down some ground rules for the cryptocurrency market, a sign that governments around the world are realizing that bitcoin is here to stay. In a nearly unanimous vote, the Ukrainian Parliament adopted a law that legalizes and regulates cryptocurrency. The bill was set in motion in 2020 – and it now heads to the desk of President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Crypto in Ukraine only existed in a legal grey area before adopting the law.
Until now, crypto in Ukraine has existed in a legal grey area. Locals were allowed to buy and exchange cryptocurrencies, but companies and exchanges dealing in crypto were often under close watch by law enforcement. According to the Kyiv Post, authorities have trended toward taking a combative stance when it comes to virtual cash, regarding it as a “scam,” raiding crypto-related businesses, and “often confiscating expensive equipment without any grounds.” Countries across the world are actively working on crypto regulations.
The new crypto legislation also protects investors from fraud.
The new crypto legislation in Ukraine also spells out certain protections against fraud for those who own bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and in a first for the Verkhovna Rada, lawmakers have taken a stab at defining core terminology in the world of crypto. If signed by the president, crypto assets, digital wallets, and private keys are terms that will be enshrined in Ukrainian law. However, unlike El Salvador’s move this week to make bitcoin, Ukraine’s crypto law does not facilitate the rollout of bitcoin as a form of payment, nor does it put it on an equal footing with the hryvnia, the country’s national currency.