A draft law legalizing and regulating cryptocurrency and other virtual assets like tokens in Ukraine has passed the parliament in the second reading on Sept. 8.
A total of 276 Ukrainian lawmakers voted for the bill.
Cryptocurrencies have been neither legal nor forbidden in Ukraine because there were no laws that defined them. Ukrainians could buy and exchange virtual currencies, but local courts couldn’t protect them if something went wrong.
If signed by President Volodymyr Zelensky, the law will protect the owners of virtual assets and exchange platforms from fraud. It will also determine how Ukraine will regulate the cryptocurrency market in the future.
Ukraine plans to open the cryptocurrency market for businesses and investors by 2022, a pressperson from the Ministry of Digital Transformation told the Kyiv Post, but the parliament has to pass a set of laws and amend the Tax Code and the Civil Code first.
The bill approved on Sept. 8 is crucial in this process, experts said. It defines virtual assets as intangible assets expressed in a form of electronic data. It also explains what a wallet for virtual currency and a private key is — these terms have never been used in Ukraine’s legislation.
Although virtual assets are now legitimate in Ukraine, Ukrainians cannot use them as a means of payment or exchange for goods or services — only the official national currency, the hryvnia, has this power. However, Ukrainians can own, exchange and trade cryptocurrencies using local or foreign exchange platforms registered in Ukraine.