The eastern European country – Ukraine has joined a growing list of countries that have given legal backing to cryptocurrencies. The second-largest country in Europe after Russia is the fifth in many weeks to lay down basic ground rules for the cryptocurrency market, a sign that governments around the world are realizing that bitcoin is here to stay. A draft bill in the Ukrainian Parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, has successfully passed its second and final reading as the country moves to legalize and regulate the use of cryptocurrencies and other virtual assets like tokens.
The parliament, through a near-unanimous vote, has now agreed to a regulated use of cryptocurrencies within the country. The bill, which now requires the assent of Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky to become law, was set in motion in 2020. With this move, Ukraine becomes the fifth country legally accepting the use of digital currencies following the adoption of Bitcoin as a legal tender in El Salvador.
In recent times, the use of cryptocurrencies in Ukraine has existed in a legal grey area, as they have neither been forbidden nor made legal in Ukraine. Ukrainians could buy and exchange these currencies, but no laws defined them, and local courts couldn’t protect them if something eventually went wrong. The draft law “On Virtual Assets,” Bill No. 3637, if signed into law by the president, will help the country determine how it regulates cryptos in the future. According to reports from the local newspaper, Kyiv Post, digital payment systems like cryptos have been typically regarded as a scam before now and authorities have raided crypto-related businesses even without any ground to do such.
Although the Ukrainian parliament has not gone as far as El Salvador in accepting Bitcoin as legal tender, the draft bill will help regulate “legal relations arising in connection with the turnover of virtual assets in Ukraine, define the rights and obligations of participants in the virtual asset market, and the principles of state policy in the field of virtual assets.”
Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, was said to have hinted that the country was working on modernizing its payment market so that its national bank could issue digital currency. The Minister said the government hopes to create another agency that will issue permits for crypto companies in the near future.
Meanwhile, countries like Germany, the USA, Canada, Australia, Cuba, Singapore, and Luxembourg have all regulated cryptocurrencies and Ukraine hopes to join this list. Panama, the Central American country, might just be the next country to regulate cryptos as it’s considering working on a similar cryptocurrency draft law.