Bitcoin: legal aspects of cryptocurrency regulation in Ukraine

Bitcoin: legal aspects of cryptocurrency regulation in Ukraine

Bitcoin marches around the world and is becoming increasingly popular in a number of countries. So, in September Kiev hosted the first specialized conference on this virtual cryptocurrency- Bitcoin Conference Kiev.

The fact that Ukraine is not far behind with the world trends is confirmed by existing turnover of bitcoins in the country. It is too early to say that this is massive, but we can already say that this electronic money has found its niche. Moreover, in certain sense, it became a brand.

So, one of the most important issues that were discussed at Bitcoin Conference Kiev was legal aspects of the existence and use of  Bitcoin. It is what Artem  Afyan, lawyer and managing partner of the law firm JSC "Yuskutum", spoke about in his report.

The point is that today there is no normative base or legislative clarification that can legally justify the Bitcoin regulation in Ukraine. Nevertheless, absence of fixed legal status does not make cryptocurrency out lawed.

"Despite the current uncertainty Bitcoin turnover is not illegal because there is no specific prohibition yet. Tax legislation allows considering income any benefit that has value as. If a person receives a benefit and pays taxes on its value, that means he complies with the law," Artem  Afyan explained at the conference.

As you know, at the beginning of this year,  the National Bank of Ukraine officially advised Ukrainians not to use cryptocurrency. According to the speaker, at this stage there is a certain discredit of digital currencies in Ukraine. During his speech, the lawyer considered options for the nature of Bitcoin in respect of legal aspect.

First, and foremost, Bitcoin can belong to the group of electronic money. However, according to Ukrainian legislation, only bank can issue electronic money. And, as we know, Bitcoin does not have emission center. According to the specialist, Bitcoin could  theoretically be monetary asset. However, in Ukraine official money is the hryvnia and foreign currency.

The second option of  Bitcoin definition is as if it was payment system. But by definition, the main function of the latter is transfer of funds, which is absent in the case of Bitcoin.

Finally, Bitcoin transactions could be understood as financial services (as financial assets), but it is not completely true too.

Thus, Artem Afyan defined the status of Bitcoin as a "benefit", which in his opinion most accurately conveys the nature of cryptocurrency transactions. Therefore, in Ukraine Bitcoin trade is not prohibited, "and thus allowed".This is the conclusion the speaker came to at the conference, same as its attendees did.

Speaker predicts that in the next few years the situation in Ukraine with legislation governing bitcoins will not change. However, even today there is already positive environment for Bitcoin development in Ukraine.

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