While Russian Ministry of Finance together with Investigation
Committee are planning to make any operations with bitcoin a serious
crime and to sentence persons found guilty to seven years in prison, in
Ukrainian capital city, Kiev, they held Bitcoin Conference Kiev at the
end of March. The conference participants noted, among other things,
that Ukrainian government attitude is more and more shifting to the
idea of full legalization of bitcoin in Ukraine.
The Conference was arranged by bitcoin enthusiast Anton Kobrinets and
Distributed Lab Company and was supported by Microsoft and PrivatBank.
The purpose of the conference was to review governance-initiatives
planned to be introduced, or already being implemented in Ukraine. In
particular they discussed the state property privatization system based
All conference participants were divided into 2 streams, one for
general public and one for expert. The former was oriented to rookies.
Here they explained what a blockchain and bitcoin are and how they work
and how cryptocurrencies make an impact on the global financial
situation. The expert stream was discussing specific projects and
problems the industry is facing now. For instance David Kiziria,
Advisor of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine, made a
presentation «Digital Middle Ages» for experts. Roman Suljik, the head
of Supervisory Board by Ukrainian National Depository, shared with
expert the position of bankers and big corporate business with regard
In conclusion, the final version of eAction 3.0 was presented by
Lasha Antadze from Innovations and Development Fund. The
blockchain-based program was developed for de-centralization of state
assets privatization action.
Cryptocurrency and Russian Bureaucracy
In Russia, on the contrary, there is no certainty. Only a year ago
bitcoin was the top subject of discussions about cryptocurrencies. Now
they prefer to discuss blockchain because according the community's
general opinion, the blockchain idea is safer and easier to sell in
Russia rather than bitcoin. However, it should be noted that both
blockchain and bitcoin situation seems to have lost momentum and come
to a standstill. Currently only Qiwi is dealing with digital currencies
and block chain. And still the National Settlement Depository is
closely monitoring all such transactions.
Actually all the interested parties in the cryptocurrency market are
waiting for some signal from the state or for some large operator,
associated with the state, to emerge. So far nothing is happening but
discussions, plans and monitoring of the world trends related to
And there is nothing surprising about that. Russia have much better
financial resources than Ukraine and these financial resources are
under much more stringent control. And Russian bureaucratic machine is
much more sophisticated and overwhelming as compared with Ukrainian
As we know, any cryptocurrency implies absolute absence of control
from the state. As a matter of fact, cryptocurrency robs any state of
its function of control over cash flows, monetary policy and money
That is why Russian bureaucracy's attitude to any cryptocurrency is
very stringent and severe.
Cryptocurrency and Ukranian Bureaucracy
In 2014 Valentin Nalivaichenko - at that time he was a head of
Ukrainian Security Service - stated that cryptocurrecnies should be
banned because terrorism is financed with their help. But his statement
was booed by the general public. The response from the community was
like: Are you serious? Is cryptocurrency your biggest problem right
This position of both general public and experts was only logical.
For one thing, during the financial crisis the state should not spend
any money on solution for the potential problem, which may never arise
in future. And for the second thing, bitcoin community was actively
cooperating with National Bank of Ukraine even at that time.
And, thanks to such cooperation, the position of National Bank of
Ukraine is consistent with current views of European Central Bank: “We
would like to warn you, that use of cryptocurrencies is associated with
certain risks, so we are closely monitoring the development of
situation”. In fact the National Bank of Ukraine is busy with
absolutely different problems not related with cryptocurrencies
business in Ukraine in any way.
Though, only a year ago the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) was much
more suspicious. This shift in attitude of National Bank of Ukraine to
bitcoin was caused by the fact that now the bank management has much
better understanding of the technical side of the cryprocurrency
functioning and use.
The Practical Use of Bitcoin in Ukraine
Speaking about the practical side of bitcoins use, a real estate
agency and a show room in Odessa are already accepting cryptocurrency
as a method of payment. Kiev supermarket Natural Foods is accepting
bitcoins too. Finally, PrivatBank launched a new service which allows
to pay for your various purchases with bitcoins This service is
automatically converting bitcoins into hryvnias, the local currency,
according to floating exchange rate, so bitcoin owners can use them as
usual Ukrainian hryvnias.