Ukraine’s Cryptocurrency Market
Oleksandr Turchynov, the current Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, said that the state can no longer afford to ignore Ukraine’s cryptocurrency market. Ukrainian officials have begun acknowledging the complexity of issues that arise from the unmonitored and unregulated cryptocurrency activity in Ukraine. Some of these issues are far more serious than others, according to the government. For example, the country’s National Bank, police, and Security Service claim that cryptocurrencies have the potential to be used to fund terrorist activities and acquire drugs or weapons.
Introducing Cryptocurrency Regulation
After citing concerns about threats to the state’s security and economy, the country has decided to create a working group that will be tasked with developing new regulations. These regulations will be focused on Ukraine’s cryptocurrency activity. The working group will consist of members of the nation’s police force, finance ministry, fiscal service, financial monitoring service, and a few other departments. For now, the group will decide which organizations will exercise control over the nation’s cryptocurrency market.
The group will also figure out how to impose taxes on earnings generated from crypto-trading. Members of Ukraine’s law enforcement will be provided all relevant data from crypto-exchanges, as per instructions from the National Coordination Center for Cyber Security. Details regarding all cryptocurrency transactions will be tracked and documented.
Kidnapping of Bitcoin Exchange’s Chief Executive
Another reason this working group might have been created could be due to the recent kidnapping of Pavel Lerner in Ukraine. He is the Chief Executive of a UK-based crypto-exchange. A ransom worth over $1 million in bitcoin was paid in order to get him released. In another incident, a Russian man was caught engaging in money-laundering using cryptocurrency. He was tracked down by Ukraine’s SBU Security Service. The Russian citizen had been attempting to illegally send funds over to Russia and to the annexed Donbas, Crimea.
It should be noted here that digital currencies are not the “culprit”. Almost anything and everything can be put to good use or bad use so it is up to us to act responsibly and have sound moral judgment.
Ukraine’s Own Cryptocurrency
Ukraine’s cryptocurrency market is still surging despite the setbacks. Now, the government of Ukraine seems to be following the Russian Federation’s footsteps by trying to develop its own cryptocurrency. This is according to a press statement issued by he Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council (NSDC). It’s kind of strange that the government is looking into this, given that it does not consider cryptocurrencies to be a mode of payment or even an asset.
Contradictory Actions & Statements
One could argue that if the Ukrainian government does not think of cryptocurrencies as real money, then why are they trying to tax them? The government’s statements and actions seem contradictory, maybe because they’re still confused as to what exactly cryptocurrencies are, the complex technology behind them, and how they work. Obviously, the crypto-market is still a fairly new development and governments worldwide are trying to study and learn about them. So, it would be unrealistic to expect them to not make errors in judgment while trying to create a legal and regulatory framework around cryptocurrencies.
We should all try to learn as much as we can about these digital currencies and their underlying technologies. There’s plenty of information circulating on the internet to help us learn. There are also a lot of quality MOOC courses being offered by experts in the field. Ultimately, it is up to us as to how we use this information. Hopefully, we can all use this new technology to serve the best interests of humanity.