Ukraine legalizes cryptocurrency as digital donations pile up
Approximate amount donated to Ukraine via crypto
Near the end of February, just days after Russia invaded Ukraine, the official Ukraine Twitter account put out a call for donations in cryptocurrency. That tweet brought in so many digital donations that Ukraine has made the decision to legalize cryptocurrency as a whole.
Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky signed a bill this week that creates a full legal framework for cryptocurrency to be traded in a government-regulated crypto marketplace. In order to do so, crypto exchanges and any companies working with digital assets will need to register with the Ukranian government, Coin Telegraph reports.
The bill itself — known by the name “On Virtual Assets” — was actually first passed by the country’s parliament in mid-February, before the current invasion began. Zelensky’s final signing passes that bill into law.
“We strive to be as friendly to virtual assets as possible,” Ukraine’s minister of Digital Transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, told TechCrunch. “And we are continuing this effort during wartime as well.”
It’s legal, legal — The “On Digital Assets” law fully legalizes cryptocurrency as legal tender in Ukraine, but it’s by no means exhaustive. Much of its space is spent creating directives for a crypto infrastructure to be built in Ukraine’s legal space — a process that will by no means be quick and easy. Most of that will be handled by the country’s Ministry of Finance and its National Commission on Securities and Stock Market.
According to a posting by Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation (as translated by Google Translate), the National Commission on Securities and Stock Market will handle the formation of new policies for virtual assets, including the amendment of Ukraine’s Tax and Civil Codes. The group will also eventually issue permits to companies that wish to register as official crypto exchanges.
Crypto in wartime — Ukraine was already very interested in crypto before the war broke out. In fact, much of Ukraine’s population has been bullish on the crypto market for a while, now, with Chainanalysis finding the country to be one of the most active users of the blockchain around the world.
As of last week, Ukraine had already received close to $100 million in crypto-based donations, according to the Ministry of Digital Transformation’s deputy minister. Cryptocurrency has allowed Ukraine to receive donations from around the world that otherwise may not have been made. That balances out some of crypto’s less-savory projects. Somewhat.
With Ukraine officially legalizing crypto, there are now exactly two countries in the world where you can create a government-regulated cryptocurrency account.