The Ukrainian parliament legalized the use of cryptocurrencies after passing the updated bill on Thursday.
The parliament previously voted in favor of a law that legalized cryptocurrencies during its September session but was rejected by Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy the following month. At the time, Zelenskyy called for several amendments in the bill, including changing the main crypto regulator to the National Commission on Securities and Stock Market (NSSMC).
Following the president’s suggestion, the bill was reintroduced in the parliament and was passed with more than 270 votes, per the official announcement. Apart from the NSSMC, the National Bank of Ukraine will oversee CBDC developments.
Ukraine’s deputy prime minister Mykhailo Fedorov tweeted:
“Ukraine is already in top-5 countries on cryptocurrency usage. Today we made one more step forward: Parliament adopted law on virtual assets! This will legalize crypto exchangers and cryptocurrencies, and Ukrainians could protect their assets from possible abuse or fraud.”
We believe that all government agencies should use the cloud tech. And today Parliament supported this approach by voting the respective law. This will reduce corruption risks, cut budget costs, and most importantly, accelerate the innovations in operation of state authorities.
— Mykhailo Fedorov (@FedorovMykhailo) February 17, 2022
Ukraine currently ranks fourth in Chainalysis’ 2021 Global Crypto Adoption Index, just behind Vietnam, India, and Pakistan. This makes Ukraine the leading European country in terms of crypto adoption. While the bill does not make Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency as the country’s legal tender, it will likely receive higher foreign investment from industry players.
While Ukraine is bullish on cryptocurrencies, its neighbor Russia offers a different argument. Russia’s central bank recently proposed a ban on cryptocurrency use and mining, calling for developments in the CBDC instead.
Tensions between Ukraine and Russia are also increasing right now after media outlets reported the shelling of a kindergarten in East Ukraine with Ukrainian government forces and Russian-backed separatists pinning the blame on each other.