Business 10 May 2018

Erik Gibbs

Ukraine sees crypto an ‘integral part’ of economic, financial relations

Cryptocurrency could soon become a recognized financial instrument in Ukraine. If things go well, the recommendation by the head of the country’s National Securities and Stock Market Commission (SSMCS), Timur Khromaev, would see crypto as an “integral part of economic and financial relations.” The news is welcome, as the country has general maintained an uncertain position on the future of digital currencies.

Following the International Organization of Securities Commission (IOSCO) conference on cryptocurrency and initial coin offerings (ICO), Khromaev announced the decision, noting that the crypto industry has matured significantly over the course of the past three years. This has converted the digital currency into a mainstream economic option with a solid future. In his post, he stressed the importance of creating a legal framework for the crypto industry, adding that “the point of no return is in the past.”

Khromaev hopes to see cryptocurrencies be governed by the same legal framework that currently exists for traditional financial vehicles based on the principles of the asset, not on whether or not it’s paper or digital. He first sees Ukraine adopting regulations on a domestic level, recognizing that international regulations are going to be cumbersome and shouldn’t be expected anytime soon.

The commissioner’s position follows what appears to be a softening in the position of Ukraine’s central bank, the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU). In August, the NBU spoke down on cryptocurrencies, saying that no currency could be used in place of the national currency. By October, NBU reported that its High Council of Experts had approved proposals that would define the legal status of digital currencies. This continued metamorphosis continued and, in January, the bank said that it was considering introducing its own digital version of the national currency, the hryvnia.

Khromaev’s opinion carries a significant amount of weight in the country. He began his career in the Ministry of Finance in 1997 as a leading specialist in the External Debt Management Unit of the External Debt Division (EDD) before becoming the EDD’s Head of Capital Markets Division. In 2001, he was tapped to be the Deputy Chairman of the Board for Commercial Bank NRB-Ukraine. Khromaev founded ARTA in 2013, one of the leading investment companies in the country, and has been the Executive Director for GASE Energy since the same year.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

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