Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, has adopted a virtual asset bill legalizing and regulating cryptocurrency.
According to a local report, Ukraine has passed a law that makes cryptocurrency and other digital assets legal in the country. Bill No. 3637 On Virtual Assets, gives Ukraine the ability to now legally regulate digital currency. According to the bill draft, “This Law regulates legal relations arising in connection with the turnover of virtual assets in Ukraine, defines the rights and obligations of participants in the virtual assets market, the principles of state policy in the field of virtual assets.”
Despite the win for crypto, they still can’t be used to pay for goods and services. It does, however, allow for blockchain companies to legalize individual business processes and work directly with the current banking system. Citizens can also freely buy and trade cryptos as things currently stand. The hryvnia remains the only legal currency.
Next steps for Ukraine
Before the bill passed, digital currencies have lived in a bit of a gray area in Ukraine. Neither legal nor illegal due to the lack of laws defining what a cryptocurrency is. The buying and selling of digital assets were done, but there was no legal protection from the courts if something went awry. The bill still has one final hurdle to jump before it officially becomes a law. It must be signed by President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Speaking with the Kyiv Post, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Digital Transformation said that Ukraine plans to open the cryptocurrency market for both businesses and investors by 2022. The spokesperson added that parliament still has to pass laws that amend the Tax Code and Civil Code before the market can be opened.
According to the bill, cryptocurrency-related businesses can work in Ukraine, but must meet a few prerequisites. Any crypto company looking to set up shop in Ukraine needs to have a stellar reputation and prove they can be transparent with officials. Additionally, a fee of $3,000 must be paid along with any taxes incurred during operation. Ukraine hopes these steps will keep money laundering and financial terrorism to a minimum.
If President Zelensky signs the bill into law, it will be the job of the Ministry of Digital Transformation, the National Bank of Ukraine, and the National Securities Commission to handle the enforcement of regulations according to the law. Ukraine has also stated its intention to create a new regulator to handle cryptocurrency companies looking for permits.
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