Ukraine is the fifth country in as many weeks to lay down some ground rules for the cryptocurrency market, a sign that governments around the world are realizing that bitcoin is here to stay, according to CNBC.
In a nearly unanimous vote, the Ukrainian Parliament adopted a law that legalizes and regulates cryptocurrency. The bill was set in motion in 2020 – and heads to the desk of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Until today, crypto in Ukraine has existed in a legal gray area.
Locals were allowed to buy and exchange virtual currencies, but companies and exchanges dealing in crypto were often under close watch by law enforcement.
The new legislation spells out certain protections against fraud for those who own bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and in a first for Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada unicameral parliament, lawmakers have taken a stab at defining core terminology in the world of crypto. If signed by the president, virtual assets, digital wallets and private keys are terms that will be enshrined in Ukrainian law.
Unlike El Salvador’s move to adopt bitcoin as legal tender, Ukraine’s crypto law does not facilitate the rollout of bitcoin as a form of payment and does not put it on an equal footing with the hryvnia, the country’s national currency.
However, by 2022, the country plans to open the cryptocurrency market to businesses and investors, according to the Kyiv Post.
Countries that have joined the club
Just this week, El Salvador became the first country to both adopt bitcoin as legal tender and hold it on its balance sheet.
Two weeks ago, Cuba — a notoriously rigid government still set in traditional Marxist ways — passed a law to recognize and regulate cryptocurrencies, citing “reasons of socioeconomic interest.”
Last month, the U.S. proposed rules around crypto “brokers” in its $1 trillion infrastructure bill, and a new German law now allows funds previously barred from investing in crypto to allocate up to 20% to virtual currencies like bitcoin.
Panama appears to be next on deck. The Central American country is kicking around a draft of its own cryptocurrency law.
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