The National Bank of Ukraine will look to develop a position on the legal and regulatory status of bitcoin and other digital currencies later this month.
In a noteworthy announcement this month, the National Bank of Ukraine – the country’s central bank – has indicated that it will look toward developing a definitive regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies in the country. ‘Currently, Bitcoin does not have a definite legal status in Ukraine,’ begins the official notice which underlines the legal classification of the cryptocurrency in a number of countries around the world including the likes of Japan, China, Australia, and Israel.
The central bank will discuss and ‘develop a common position on the legal status of Bitcoin and its regulation’ during the next meeting of the Financial Stability Board, scheduled to occur near the end of August. The move to initiate a formal legislative process toward regulation comes at a time when bitcoin captures the mainstream’s attention after breaking the $4,000 barrier, a new all-time high for the world’s most prominent cryptocurrency. This year, bitcoin is up 3000% since the turn of January.
Ukraine, like many other countries around the world, is seeing a notable uptick in bitcoin activity from adoption as a payment method to recent industry developments such as a groundbreaking blockchain development deal between BitFury, a private bitcoin- and blockchain-firm and the government of Ukraine. The partnership will ultimately result in putting all of the government’s electronic data onto a blockchain. Ukraine is also expected to field up to 150 bitcoin ATMs across the country by the end of the year. These ATMS are also likely to support other digital currencies including Ethereum, among others.
As reported by CCN in late 2015, Ukraine’s largest private bank, PrivatBank, completed testing of integrating bitcoin payments to online retailers, enabling them to receive the cryptocurrency as payment before directly converting it into local fiat currency that is then deposited into the merchant’s bank account.
More recently, Ukrainian authorities arrested bitcoin miners for allegedly using an abandoned swimming pool at a state-owned Kiev institute to install 200 computers to mine the cryptocurrency. According to a report, the ‘illegal scheme’ also contributed to officials at the state-owned facility. As such, central bank laws dictate that the hryvnia, Ukraine’s fiat currency, is the only legal method of payment in the country. The central bank’s decision to regulate bitcoin is certain to also formulate a definitive legal status for cryptocurrencies in the country.
This month’s meeting, initiated by the central bank, will also see notable participants including the Ministry of Finance, the State Fiscal Service, the State Financial Monitoring Service, the National Securities and Stock Market Commission, and the National Commission for the regulation of financial markets services.
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