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Ukrainian Central Bank Says ‘Crypto Isn’t Money,’ Vows to Regulate Sector

Source: Bumble Dee/Adobe

The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has stated that crypto “is not money,” and has reaffirmed its intention to regulate the sector – using EU law as a benchmark.

The comments were made by the First Deputy Governor of the NBU Kateryna Rozhkova in a TV interview with My-Ukraina. Rozhkova said:

“[Cryptoassets] are not money. On this point, we agree with our colleagues from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).”

Kateryna Rozhkova, the First Deputy Governor of the NBU.

Rozhkova said that the NBU fully intends to regulate the crypto sector.

But she conceded that the matter would likely take a back seat for the time being.

Lawmakers appear to have other ideas, however. In late 2023, the Verkhovna Rada’s Committee on Finance, Tax, and Customs Policy said it was working on a draft crypto tax bill.

A bill from the National Commission on Securities and the Stock Market could also soon be ready for a hearing in the Rada.

The NBU has also indicated a willingness to adopt a law based on the EU’s EU’s Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) legislation.

But Rozhkova noted that the IMF believes it would be “very risky” to make monetary policy changes “when a full-scale war continues to rage in Ukraine.”

The National Bank of Ukraine in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Source: Alexander Noskin [CC BY-SA 3.0])

Ukraine’s Central Bank: Not Currently Prioritizing Crypto Regulation?

The central bank official added that “macro-financial stability” was currently “more important than cryptocurrency” for the Ukrainian economy.

However, Rozhkova claimed that the bank fully intends to regulate crypto in due time, and will take its lead from the EU. She said:

“We will study the main cryptoasset market-related methodologies and practices of European nations and other countries. And after that, we will look at how best to adapt this to our legislation.”

According to the media outlet Focus, Alexander Kuryavyi, the managing partner at the law firm Murenko, Kuryavyi, and Partners, cryptocurrency exchanges “are still not regulated” under Ukrainian law. Kuryavyi said:

“This makes it impossible to protect the interests of [exchanges’ customers].”

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