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Ukraine wants to promote payments in cryptocurrencies

Photo of: Joseph Stone
by Joseph Stone

Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation wants to promote payments in cryptocurrencies. The goal is to allow settlements in crypto-assets, on par with U.S. dollar derivative payments.

After Uruguay earlier this week, another country wants to allow payments in cryptocurrencies: Ukraine. On the proposal of Oleksandr Bornyakov, deputy minister of the Ministry of Digital Transformation, the government could very soon allow payments in digital assets.

This news is not surprising for those who follow the news. The Ukrainian government is indeed taking a positive view of the digital asset sector. In late 2019, the same Ministry of Digital Transformation had signed a partnership with Binance. A year later, the Ministry of Education offered courses on Bitcoin to students.

Oleksandr Bornyakov himself has repeatedly praised the merits of blockchain and crypto assets. In early January 2021, he was working with the Stellar Foundation (XLM) to establish a legal framework for cryptocurrencies in Ukraine. Seven months later, this proposed law would therefore be the culmination of that work.

However, although the Ukrainian government is pro-cryptocurrency, it does not yet want to follow in the footsteps of Salvador. While El Salvador is currently the only country in the world that has made Bitcoin (BTC) a legal tender, Ukraine’s only goal is to allow payments in digital assets. For now, Ukraine’s only official currency is the hryvnia (UAH).

These payments would be allowed through financial intermediaries allowing crypto-fiat conversion. To make the proposed law clearer, Oleksandr Bornyakov uses the example of dollar derivatives. In Ukraine, payments in US dollars are prohibited. However, it is possible to pay for everyday purchases with a prepaid dollar card and instant conversion during payment.