The Ukrainian Parliament has approved a bill that gives Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies legal standing.
This move comes on the heels of El Salvador adopting Bitcoin (BTC) as a form of legal tender and could be a sign of a growing global trend that sees nations adopt or consider adopting digital assets.
Such a plan had been under consideration for over a year, according to the Ukrainian government. The 276-6 vote now means only President Volodymyr Zelensky’s signature is required to certify the law.
Whereas El Salvador has officially made BTC a currency on par with the US dollar, Ukraine’s move is the first step to crypto adoption, taking them on the path to acknowledge its legal status.
Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation, discusses the cutting-edge nature of the decision.
“Only a few countries in the world have legalized crypto assets – Germany, Luxembourg, Singapore. Ukraine will be one of them.”
In the US, Bitcoin is defined as a commodity under federal law. Bitcoin is also legal in Japan, the UK and other developed nations. However, the legal status of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies remains fragmented around the world.
Until now, cryptocurrencies were neither legal nor illegal in Ukraine because they had never been addressed by the nation’s legislature. The new bill brings clarity to the crypto space providing buyers and sellers with legal parameters and court protection for the first time.
The crypto-friendly law could open the door to infusions of foreign investment capital, as Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation Oleksandr Bornyakov explains,
“This actually was the major task for us… [to] step in and create a legal framework … so banks and other government institutions would recognize [crypto] as a part of civil rights [and] of economic value.
Guarantees for Ukrainian cryptocurrency buyers will increase due to the fact that certain cryptocurrencies will receive a work permit in Ukraine, and accordingly, we will check them and make sure that they work in good faith.”
Comments by famed whistleblower and cybersecurity expert Edward Snowden suggest that with El Salvador leading the way, early adoption is the key to success in the digital frontier.
“There is now pressure on competing nations to acquire Bitcoin – even if only as a reserve asset – as its design massively incentivizes early adoption. Latecomers may regret hesitating.”
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