Defining Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency as a legal asset is not as straightforward as some people may think. Various countries around the world are currently in the process of determining the legality of cryptocurrencies in their respective regions. Interestingly enough, the number of countries attempting to ban Bitcoin is pretty small right now. Ukraine is the next country to be voicing a legal definition of Bitcoin. A statement is expected within three weeks’ time.
Bitcoin Could Become Legal in Ukraine
Bitcoin may not necessarily have the best of reputations in Ukraine right now. Several major ransomware attacks were launched from this country, which gave the popular cryptocurrency a bad name. Although Bitcoin occupied a gray area even before those attacks, it does not appear Ukrainian officials had any reason to openly oppose it. With the government scheduled to release its verdict on the legality of cryptocurrency in three weeks, these ransomware issues may have made things a bit more difficult.
At the same time, one has to keep in mind Ukraine is home to a growing number of freelancers. These individuals, who mostly operate in the IT sector, often work for companies across Europe and even other continents. With working from home becoming a lot easier these days, there are plenty of Ukrainians making a living this way and getting paid from overseas. That means they are subject to potentially lower wages and higher fees associated with receiving paychecks. Bitcoin payments can make a big impact since they remove most fees from the equation.
Whether or not any of these factors will influence the government’s decision remains to be seen. The Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers on the Financial Stability Board is now in the process of rendering its decision regarding the legality of cryptocurrency in the country. Considering that the Cabinet of Ministers is the highest body of executive power in the country, its decision will shape the future of Bitcoin and altcoins in Ukraine – and possibly neighboring countries – moving forward. For now, no one knows what we can expect from this decision, and there have not been any outspoken negative comments so far.
It seems Ukraine is slowly embracing blockchain technology. The government has been experimenting with this technology through multiple pilot projects. In a way, the upcoming announcement could be positive for the future of Bitcoin in the country, although there is no guarantee of a joyous outcome. Cryptocurrency is still one of the more innovative technologies the financial sector has ever seen. Providing the corresponding legal status for these instruments in the Ukrainian financial markets will be quite the challenge.
In around three weeks from today, we will know the government’s final verdict. Regulation of Bitcoin in one way or another will have some positive effect on the world’s leading cryptocurrency. The news will be further validation of how governments cannot – and should not – ignore Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies any longer. After all, they have been doing so for many years, claiming Bitcoin to be just a temporary trend that will eventually fade away. The past few years have painted a very different outcome and have now forced the hand of regulators to come to a decision sooner rather than later.
Ukraine’s central bank, for its part, remains indecisive regarding Bitcoin for the time being. It has no interest in legalizing Bitcoin, but it is not planning to make it illegal either. The NBU will need to follow the guidelines issued by the Cabinet of Ministers. These are exciting times for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It also highlights the fact there remains a big gap between cryptocurrencies and ICO tokens, as they are entirely different business models altogether.