Category Archives: Business & Prices

I’m losing money by using ATMs. Bitcoin to the rescue?

So there’s this great website which shows the USD to UAH “commercial” (read “black market”) rate:

So the official bank rate is 16.4 and the “commercial” rate is 20.8. A pathetic 79% of the actual rate.

But it gets worse. When I use Ukrainian ATM to draw from my American Bank account, the exchange rate is only 15.8! 76% of the actual rate.

My Reaction to the Central Bank of Ukraine’s statement on Bitcoin:

I don’t yet know how legally binding this is. It may only be the opinion of Ukraine’s central bank, but nevertheless, it’s bad. It represents exactly the type of corrupt Soviet bureaucratic thinking that Ukrainians rebelled against last winter. Worse, this statement is aimed at the tech industry — the one place talented Ukrainians consistently find refuge from corporate raiders and rent seeking bureaucrats. It’s a very, very discouraging blow at a time when so many Ukrainians have sacrificed so much in a fight that was largely about greater economic freedom. I expect a reaction from the recently formed Bitcoin Foundation of Ukraine.

The Useless, Corrupt, Goddamn Idiots in Ukraine’s Gov’t declare #bitcoin illegal

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In connection with citizens about the legality of use in Ukraine “virtual currency / Cryptocurrency” Bitcoin inform that.

According to the Constitution of Ukraine (Article 99), the Civil Code of Ukraine (Article 192), the Law of Ukraine “On Payment Systems and Money Transfer in Ukraine” (Article 3) and the Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine from 19.02.93 № 15-93 “On Currency regulation and Currency control “(Article 3) hryvnia currency of Ukraine as the only legal tender in Ukraine, adopted by all natural and legal persons without any restriction on all territory of Ukraine for the transfer and settlement.

One of the functions of the National Bank of Ukraine is the monopoly of Issuance national currency of Ukraine and the organization of cash circulation (Article 7 of the Law of Ukraine “On the National Bank of Ukraine”).

Volume and turnover in Ukraine other currencies and use of substitutes as a payment prohibited (Article 32 of the Law of Ukraine “On the National Bank of Ukraine”).

Given the above, the National Bank of Ukraine considers “virtual currency / Cryptocurrency” Bitcoin as a money substitute that is not providing real value and can not be used by individuals and entities on the territory of Ukraine as a means of payment, because it is contrary to the norms of Ukrainian legislation.

In addition, when using “virtual currency / Cryptocurrency” Bitcoin is a factor of increased risk associated with this service, operations or supply channels, including anonymous transactions (which may include cash), decentralization operation.

However, the international distribution of such payments for this category of services attractive to illegal activities, including money laundering, proceeds from crime and terrorist financing.

We emphasize that the risks for use in the calculation of “virtual currency / Cryptocurrency” Bitsoin responsible party payments for them. National Bank of Ukraine as a regulator is not liable for risks and losses associated with the use of “virtual currency / Cryptocurrency” Bitsoin.

In order to protect consumers’ rights, safety, money transfer National Bank of Ukraine encourages citizens to use the services of only those payment systems, settlement systems, which included the National Bank of Ukraine in the Register of payment systems, settlement systems, participants in these systems and service providers payment infrastructure.

Kyiv Bitcoin Conference

I just returned from Ukraine’s first Bitcoin conference, and I’m still buzzing with a sense of endless possibility and a better future. It’s always very inspiring to meet so many people with big ideas.

The general speeches about Bitcoin — how it works, what it means, weren’t as brilliant as what you may get in the US. The thing that impressed me most was the individual talent in the room. I had great discussion about virtual property, mining, and decentralized exchanges. Someone told me the guys behind the famous mega-miner GHash.IO were there, but I didn’t meet them.

I met a very gentlemanly life-long entrepreneur-turned-VC who returned from New York City to his native Ukraine in the 1990s. He told me that OkCupid and WhatsApp are among the IT giants created by Ukrainians. I hadn’t known that.

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Who will mine the next block???? Place your bets at!

Curt on Video Production Costs


Studio for 2 hrs, 3 camera setup, two soft lights, backlights, chairs, desk, delivered as a rough edit: $300. Two videos $600. Same in London $3,000. Two videos $6,000 Yes. That’s right. Cost of 3 Nikon Cameras with standard lenses, three tripods, two box lights, back light, a few extension cords, and a hotel room to make it in… about 4K. Cost of using existing Mac/iMovie, zero. Joy of synchronizing three videos and sound, priceless. So you give that to the guys in Lviv to edit for you.

I love Ukraine.

Curt’s Rant on Credit Card Fraud in Ukraine


I swear to god that I will never, ever, no matter how inconvenient, no matter how much any one pleads with me, use another Russian or Ukrainian or Belorussian – for that matter, any non-anglo-german web site for the processing of credit card information, ever again, in my life, for any reason whatsoever. Period. End of story. Never again. I am just done with it. If a bank isn’t owned by someone whose language is in the germanic family, you just can’t count on them for anything, and no one else can either. Eastern Europe may not have our direct violence and crime, but it has far more indirect crime and corruption, and no one in this entire freaking longitude is competent to even understand the CONCEPT of trust.


Law about E-commerce in Ukraine

A general description is in the article … and if you need the items, then open the law. To Bitcoin until it inapplicable, but finally brings in the legal field of Ukraine quite ordinary things already – “e-commerce, electronic goods, electronic commerce, online store, and most importantly – electronic transactions”


The Law itself: