The cryptocurrency sector is now legal in Ukraine with the newly minted status arriving as the country has spent millions of dollars in cryptocurrency donations to buy supplies to defend itself during Russia’s invasion.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed on Wednesday a virtual assets law that was passed by parliamentary policymakers in September 2021.
The National Bank of Ukraine and the National Commission on Securities and Stock Market will oversee regulatory duties such as licensing digital asset providers.
The president’s signature marks “another important step towards bringing the crypto sector out of the shadows and launching a legal market for virtual assets in Ukraine,” the country’s Digital Transformation Ministry said in a statement.
The legalization comes at a time when cryptocurrency donations have been pouring into the Ukrainian government and related entities to help the former Soviet republic at a time of war with Russia. Russia launched its war against Ukraine on February 24, shelling cities including the capital Kyiv and hitting civilian targets.
Crypto donations tracked by Ukraine’s Digital Transformation Ministry have surpassed $55 million as of Thursday. The department has set a target of $200 million.
“I am amazed how united the crypto community is,” Alex Bornyakov, the department’s deputy minister, said in a Twitter message on Thursday.
Bornyakov earlier this month said Ukraine has purchased thousands of bulletproof vests and thermal imaging devices and other items with the crypto donations. The government accepts a range of cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, ether and cardano.
The country also takes donations via fiat currencies, with dollar, euro and pound sterling deposits accepted by the National Bank of Ukraine.
Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s minister of digital transformation, told the Kyiv Post last September legalizing the crypto sector would foster safety and encourage more Ukrainians to invest.