Ukrainian regulator to allow institutions to issue virtual currencies

National Bank of Ukraine is considering to grant non-banking financial entities the licence to issue electronic currencies, as reported on the regulator’s corporative Facebook page.

The initiative was explained as a way to conform EU financial regulations in order to be able to become a member of the European Union.

“Ukraine is working on aligning the legislation in the sphere of payment systems with European practices. At the moment NBU is considering granting to non-banking financial institutions the right to act as an emitter of electronic money,” the message states.

NBU is going to follow the EU directive 110 from 2009 to adopt the rules of licensing the emission. These will include the consent of the emitter to be registered and the minimum initial capital of $350,000. Other rules concern authorised capital, equity capital and mechanisms of security. The regulator will take into account the range of services offered by the financial organisation, be it only emission of electronic money or other payment services.

In December 2015 Ukrainian PrivatBank filed a request with the NBU to open a new bitcoin service for online retailers. Last summer NBU invited PayPal to open an office in the country. A letter of invitation was sent to PayPal by the Ukrainian Ministry of Economics after changes had been introduced to the regulation of the financial sector. Despite that, it is still impossible for Ukrainian citizens to get payment using the PayPal system.