In Ukraine, where Russia continues its attacks, President Zelenski announced that he has passed a law that officially legalizes cryptocurrencies in the country. “The signing of this law by the president is an important step towards bringing the crypto industry out of the shadows and launching a legal market for virtual assets in Ukraine,” the Ministry of Digital Transformation said in a published statement.
As Russia’s attacks against Ukraine continue, President Zelenski has signed a new law officially legalizing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Foreign and Ukrainian cryptocurrency exchanges are allowed to operate legally in Ukraine, following the new law signed by Ukrainian President Zelenski.
Seen as a vital step towards developing a legal market for virtual assets in the country, the law will also for the first time establish a regulatory framework for an open crypto market in Ukraine.
“The signing of this law by the president is an important step towards bringing the crypto industry out of the shadows and launching a legal market for virtual assets in Ukraine,” the statement published on the website of the Ministry of Digital Transformation said.
The draft law “On Virtual Assets” was first passed unanimously by the Ukrainian parliament in September 2021, while Zelenski vetoed the bill in October, arguing that the costs of establishing a new regulatory body to oversee crypto were too high.
The bill, signed by the President, came to the fore as an amended bill that addressed his concerns and was supported by a majority in a new vote in the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian parliament, on 17 February.
WHAT DOES THE LAW SAY?
The new law will take the responsibility of regulating the new crypto-asset market under the auspices of the National Securities and Exchange Commission.
However, fines will also apply for violations and legal protections to protect investors from fraud.
In addition, the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine will “actively work to amend Ukraine’s Tax and Civil Codes to fully launch the virtual asset market.”
Speaking during the vote in February, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister and minister of digital transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, described the new law as an “opportunity to develop business in our country”.
“Foreign and Ukrainian crypto companies will be able to operate legally, while Ukrainians will have convenient and secure access to the global market for virtual assets,” Fedorov said. CRYPTO IS CRITICAL TO UKRAINE’S WAR FIGHT
Following the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Zelensky’s government actively encouraged donations in a number of cryptocurrencies to help fund weapons for the warring Ukrainian military.
It was the first time cryptocurrency has been used in a wartime environment of this scale, with donors from around the world donating an estimated $100 million in crypto to the Ukrainian government at the time of publication.
On March 4, Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation Alex Bornyakov said that the donations raised were mostly Bitcoin and Ethereum, of which $15 million was spent on military equipment, including non-lethal bulletproof vests.