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Ukraine becomes fifth country to legalize crypto; who’s next?

Ukraine becomes fifth country to legalize crypto; who’s next?

Last updated 19th Jan 2022

Ukraine has become the latest country to legalize and regulate cryptocurrency, a sure sign that Bitcoin is here to stay, CNBC reports. Governments around the world are realizing it and taking the respective actions. The Parliament of Ukraine made this decision in an almost unanimous vote. The bill was set in motion back in 2020.

Digital assets used to exist in a legal gray area

While purchasing and trading these assets was never explicitly illegal, crypto exchanges were often carefully monitored. Local authorities tended to regard virtual cash as a scam, using it as an excuse to confiscate expensive devices and raid crypto-related businesses.

For example, the Ukraine Security Service blocked a network of cryptocurrency exchanges last month, claiming they were involved in money laundering. The new bill foresees some protection against fraud for crypto owners and holders.

Differences with El Salvador

The new crypto law does not foresee using crypto to make payments and neither will it be accepted as legal tender. Ukraine does plan to open the cryptocurrency market to companies and investor next year according to the Kyiv Post.

Moreover, government officials have been trying to attract the attention of Silicon Valley investors and venture capital funds. Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation, stated Ukraine’s Central Bank would now be able to issue digital currency after the payment system has been modernized. This happened during an official state visit to the US last month.

However, not everyone is optimistic. According to Jeremy Rubin, CEO of bitcoin R&D lab Judica, Ukraine’s government’s promises don’t mean much:

“Ukraine’s improved legal status for bitcoin is a laudable symbolic measure that we progress towards a world that respects individual rights universally. But it is only symbolic — bitcoin seeks neither permission nor forgiveness in its mission to protect persecuted communities from unjust governments.”

Joining a long list of countries

After becoming the first country to hold Bitcoin on its balance sheet and accept it as legal tender this week, it emerged its brave President Nayib Bukele basically put his political fate in the hands of the outcome of the experiment with the asset.

Cuba’s infamously conservative government, citing “reasons of socioeconomic interest”, adopted a law to recognize and regulate cryptocurrencies two weeks ago.

It seems the Central American country of Panama is next on the list. The country’s government is working on a draft of a cryptocurrency law.

Daniela Kirova

Daniela Kirova

Daniela is a writer at Bankless Times, covering the latest news on the cryptocurrency market and blockchain industry. She has over 15 years of experience as a writer, having ghostwritten for several online publications in the financial sector.