Ukraine is now the latest country in the world to legalize and regulate bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Up until this point, the world’s number one digital asset has existed in something of a gray space within the country’s borders, but now it looks like the nation is moving forward with BTC use, suggesting that the asset is becoming far more mainstream and legitimate.
Ukraine Says “Yes” to Crypto
The Parliament of Ukraine voted unanimously to not only permit bitcoin activity, but to implement the appropriate regulations to ensure malicious activity doesn’t bring the country down. The bill was first introduced in the year 2020, and now it looks like administrators have moved forward in making it law.
Until the passing of the bill, individuals could potentially trade and invest in cryptocurrencies, though any companies that worked or delved in blockchain and digital assets wound up getting the stink eye from the Ukrainian government. They were put under very close scrutiny and were made to feel rather unwelcome.
It appears that the idea in Ukraine for some time has been that most crypto activity stems from scams and illicit enterprises. Just last month, for example, the Secret Service of Ukraine (SBU) worked to prevent a group of crypto exchanges from operating within the country’s capital of Kiev after initiating claims that the firms had allegedly been involved in money laundering.
However, the new bill has provisions within its verbiage that would ultimately protect individuals that trade in crypto should they ever become the victims of fraud. While the country is garnering some comparisons to El Salvador, which has become the first country to declare bitcoin legal tender, the comparisons are not entirely accurate given that Ukraine is not permitting bitcoin payments for goods and services, nor is it placing the asset on the same scale as the hryvnia, the country’s national currency.
Still, the legalization and lawmaking activities surrounding the asset’s “official” introduction to the region is considered a solid step forward in the legitimization of digital currencies amongst international governments, though not everyone is “seeing the light” so to speak.
Some Don’t Think This Will Go Anywhere
Some, such as bitcoin backer Jeremy Rubin, believe that the maneuver isn’t going to lead to much change in Ukraine or surrounding countries. In a recent interview, the CEO of bitcoin R&D lab Judica says:
Ukraine’s improved legal status for bitcoin is a laudable symbolic measure that we progress towards a world that respects individual rights universally, but it is only symbolic. Bitcoin seeks neither permission nor forgiveness in its mission to protect persecuted communities from unjust governments.
Ukraine is just one of a string of countries considering the development of bitcoin regulation. Others include Cuba and Panama, El Salvador’s neighbor to the south. Both have stated they are now looking to implement new crypto laws.