Ukraine is going further and faster on crypto than its powerful neighbor, Russia.
The country's parliament passed a bill Thursday legalizing cryptocurrencies. It notably does not recognize bitcoin or other forms of crypto as legal tender. The bill instead ensures businesses are protected against crypto-related fraud or abuse.
"Market participants will receive legal protection and the opportunity to make decisions based on open consultations with government agencies,” Ukraine Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov said in a statement.
Even though Ukraine hasn't formally regulated digital currencies before, it has still proven itself as a leading crypto hub. The country ranks fourth on the Global Crypto Adoption Index by Chainalysis. Legalizing the currency will ensure exchanges are better protected, Fedorov said. "Ukrainians could protect their assets from possible abuse or fraud,” Fedorov said.
Several countries are working to adopt their own forms of a digital currency, with India being one of the latest. At least 87 other countries are looking to introduce a CBDC, and nine have already launched their own. The Federal Reserve is currently gathering public comment on whether to launch a digital currency.
Russia, meanwhile, is caught up in a bureaucratic battle over whether to ban crypto or regulate it.