Posted 2 years ago | by Ben Armstrong
Ukraine Plans to Officially Legalize Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies
In an interesting development emerging from Ukraine, one that does not involve American political scandal, the country has created a Ministry of Digital Transformation which plans to legalize Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This will allow cryptocurrencies to become viable alternatives to cash, rather than languishing in the legal “grey area”.
Although cryptocurrencies are not banned currently in the Ukraine, they do not have any official status nor socio-economic status. Both the development of the Ministry and the legalisation of cryptocurrency is a bold move by the new President to modernise the country.
These are not mere rumours but have been recently confirmed by one of the new deputy ministers to be appointed to the fledgling Ministry, with the caveat that the legalisation of cryptocurrencies is one of the agency’s top goals. The other goal is to shift the state registries to a blockchain based network.
Ukraine Looks to New Tech
These modernization efforts are being led by Mikhail Federov, the current, and young, Deputy Prime Minister of Digital Information, who wants to offer the country simple and convenient services, so that the residents can feel comfortable. The means by which to achieve this are government plans to transfer public registries and documents to a state run distributed ledger system.
These plans reflect the widespread changes happening in all sectors of the government as part of the modernization effort by Ukraine’s new president Volodymyr Zelensky. Zelensky won a surprise election in 2019 and has since taken on the anti-corruption cause in the country.
Efficiency is a Priority for Zelensky
His vision of making the country run more efficiently and increasing digital literacy undoubtedly involves cryptocurrency. Although the previous government planned to implement ccyrptocurrency related state policy by 2021, Zelensky plans to speed up this process tremendously.
Alexander Bornyakov asserted that “People who are engaged in [cryptocurrencies] should come out of the ‘gray zone’ and begin to pay taxes.” He suggested that Ukrainian authorities want to “capitalize on miners” and on cryptocurrency traders.
With so many young, new officials in Zelensky’s government, Ukraine could become a major hub for blockchain innovation in the coming decade. This requires complex, decentralized systems which the Ukrainian government is open to adopt vis-a-vis blockchain technology.
International tensions aside, Ukraine could soon prove to be a case study in how successful such an initiative involving cryptocurrency and blockchain can be in repairing a country destroyed by war, corruption, and poor infrastructure.