The Ukrainian parliament unanimously approved a law that legalises and regulates cryptocurrencies, in a move widely believed to be a step towards making Bitcoin legal tender in the country. The bill now heads to the desk of President Volodymyr Zelensky, a strong supporter of having cryptos play a bigger role in the country’s economy.
Until now, and like in many countries around the world, Ukrainians can buy and sell cryptos but those providing exchange services have been kept operating in a grey market, under close watch by the financial authorities.
The move by the country’s Parliament comes as President Zelensky spoke in praise of cryptos during a tour of the US last week, which included a stop at California’s Silicon Valley. Zelensky is seen as a strong supporter of digital currencies and has already instructed his ministers to help make Ukraine a ‘crypto-friendly’ nation.
According to the British financial newspaper, City AM, some of the president’s delegates have also been visiting their counterparts in El Salvador to see how the Central American country moved to become the first in the world to make bitcoin legal tender.
"“We are likely to see more and more countries passing laws to help make cryptos part of everyday life, which is great; but we must also stay alert so that regulation doesn’t hinder attempts to make cryptos more widely available and used in a free and safe way”, commented Eduardo Carvalho, the co-founder and CEO of Dynasty Global Investments AG."
Ukraine has had a troubled economic past since becoming independent after the fall of the Soviet Union, including a secretive change of currency in 1996 from Karbovanets to the current Hryvnia. It has also faced continued political and economic instability due to its tense relationship with Russia.