BY Allen Scott
Ukraine may soon legalize Bitcoin. The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) is seriously looking into the possibilities of implementing Bitcoin’s technology into the financial system according to Ukraine’s Bitcoin Foundation (BFU).
Ukraine Bitcoin Foundation (BFU) and National Bank (NBU) representatives met on August 19 to get a better understanding of what Bitcoin technology is and how to approach it from a regulatory standpoint.
Interestingly, the Director of the Payment Systems Department Natalia Lapko was responsible for organizing this meeting based on a request from the BFU. Her department has a “good understanding of the technology and its benefits,” according to Kuna Bitcoin Agency founder Michael Chobanian. However, Lapko decided to hold the meeting to familiarize the “rest of the departments” with blockchain technology.
“Right now, the National Bank is trying to come to terms with the existence of such a currency, which doesn’t have an emission center or single owner, and understand how to work with it moving forward,” explained BFU Board of Directors member, Aleksandr Momot.
According to sources, the biggest interest for the regulator may be the blockchain, or the technological backbone of Bitcoin, which uses cryptography to secure a publicly viewable ledger of all of transactions conducted within the network.
Kuna Bitcoin Agency founder Michael Chobanian noted:
“Ukraine became the third country in the world after the UK and Canada, where the central bank decided to study the prospects of cryptocurrency in developing new financial technologies. This will ensure that we maintain our current leading position in the world of Bitcoin.”
Prior to the meeting, the BFU prepared a lengthy presentation, which was then sent to any interested parties, explaining how Bitcoin works and prospects of its blockchain technology so that the talks would be more “constructive.”
The meeting was hailed as a success. Chobanian:
“I would conclude that the meeting was very positive, so the future is bright for Bitcoin in Ukraine.”
He also added that Natalia Lapko and Director of Retail Payments Sergiy Shatsky are expected to speak at the Bitcoin conference Kiev on September 24.
“There is understanding that this technology is here to stay and it is the future,” added Chobanian. “There is no point controlling it and they can only create conditions where businesses can develop. And this is exactly why we are pushing for Bitcoin License Ukraine initiative.”
Back on May 27, a draft of Ukraine’s own BitLicense was introduced by Chobanian at an extended board session before the NBU. The initial reception has been described as “surprisingly positive” by the country’s Central Bank and financial sector, while the draft in its current form would create a self-regulating organization (SRO) that would issue licenses to businesses dealing in cryptocurrencies.
The blockchain is already being considered by many banks across the world in light of an increasingly popular idea that cryptocurrency can replace traditional methods of accounting for valuable information such as contracts, intellectual property, real estate, as well as online voting. Moreover, with its publicly accessible distributed ledger, the blockchain can be considered one of the most transparent and verifiable systems in the world.