War had no impact on Ukraine’s regulatory approach to crypto, Kyiv lawmaker says

A year after Russia’s invasion, Ukraine continues working on cryptocurrency legislation, but the war has not changed its regulatory stance, according to a Kyiv official.

Ukraine has continued to follow in the footsteps of the European Union in regard to adopting digital asset laws, Ukraine’s securities commissioner Yurii Boiko told Cointelegraph in an interview.

Boiko said that the Ukrainian lawmakers have been working to implement major European crypto regulations, known as the Markets in Crypto Assets regulation, or MiCA.

“The approach to the regulation of the virtual asset market has not changed during the war,” Boiko stated, adding:

“We clearly know where we should go, because our path is European integration and the introduction of better EU norms and rules to our markets. Therefore, we confidently go our own way and implement MiCA regulations into the legislative plan.”

Boiko noted that the adoption of crypto legislation in Ukraine has been slowed down mainly due to the need to develop necessary amendments to the country’s tax and civil codes. Another factor is Ukraine’s path to European integration, the official said, adding that Ukraine’s National Commission on Securities and Stock Market (NSSMC) has been actively cooperating with international colleagues to implement regulations like MiCA.

NSSMC commissioner Yurii Boiko

According to Oleksii Zhmerenetskyi, head of the parliamentary group Blockchain4Ukraine, the country’s legislature originally started working on regulating the cryptocurrency market back in October 2017. 

“Unfortunately, at that time, the Verkhovna Rada of the eighth convocation was unable to adopt a crypto law, and only since the election of President Volodymyr Zelensky, Verkhovna Rada of the ninth convocation returned to consideration of it,” Zhmerenetskyi said. The lawmakers subsequently created the Blockchain4Ukraine group together with more than 50 deputies in September 2019, he noted.

Zhmerenetskyi added that a working group under the NSSMC is currently finalizing a package of amendments to the draft law “On Virtual Assets” in order to adapt it to MiCA, which will be voted on by the European Parliament in April. As soon as the package is adopted and signed by the president, the NSCSM and the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) will prepare by-laws and then Ukraine will officially launch the virtual assets market, he said.

“We plan to do this by the end of this year,” Zhmerenetskyi stated.

Related: Ukraine netted $70M in crypto donations since start of Russia conflict

As previously reported, Ukraine’s central bank banned Bitcoin (BTC) purchases with the local currency, the Ukrainian hryvnia, in April 2022. The NBU only allowed Ukrainians to buy crypto with foreign currency and total monthly purchases not exceeding 100,000 hryvnia, or $3,300, at the time.