Plans of National Bank of Ukraine regarding blockchain and e-money. Concept of roadmap for Cashless Economy
Late last week, specialized mass media has published the news, stating that the National Bank is going to release electronic currency based on blockchain.
This issue is added into the roadmap for Cashless Economy, a large-scale project on implementing cashless payments.
Plans of the National Bank of Ukraine were revealed by Konstantin Yarmolenko, an advisor to the head of the agency for E-government queries. The project was presented on 9th November within Kiev Cashless Ukraine Summit 2016. Its main goal is a transition of the banking system to cashless payments, in particular, using the blockchain technology.
It was September that one found out about the National Bank of Ukraine reviewing blockchain as a part of Cashless Economy, according to Sergei Shatsky, the director of the Department of payment systems and innovative development of the NBU. He says that the regulator is studying blockchain alongside cloud technologies, mobile payments, and QR codes, in other words everything simplifying cash payments for final customers and business.
Besides, the National Bank is in favor of acceptance of amendments to the legislation regarding cash payment liberalization. Shatsky told about distributed POS systems as a new type of registers, storing fiscal information on the central server. Their implementation will allow entrepreneurs to use mobile phones and tablets as terminals.
As to blockchain, the NBU media office says that the regulator is reviewing a national cryptocurrency emission. It is required to establish a protected and flexible system for solving issues in cashless money turnover sector in the country. The NBU thinks that it will be resulted in the payment system, regulated by the center, with close to zilch transaction costs and fast money transfer.
► Concept of roadmap
Cashless Economy plan includes several sections, each of which focuses on a certain result. Relying on specified time, the NBU will release e-money on blockchain in the fourth quarter of 2017. Besides, the full program should be completed in early 2018.
Let’s take a look at the roadmap in detail in the actionàresult format:
- establishment of e-money (emitter – NBU) → cheapening of acquiring (alternative of card payments);
- implementation of social processing → control over appropriate expenditures;
- implementation of such technologies as contactless, e-commerce, P2P, HCE/NFC, and QR payments → expansion of cashless payment methods, including mobile payments;
- promotion on the market, reconsideration of pricing policy, cooperation with market participants → increase of interests of non-cash transactions using national payment systems up to 30% by 2020;
- opportunity to provide mobile operators with financial services → attraction of those users who prefer mobile cards rather than payment ones.
Valeria Gontareva, the head of the NBU, commented on the roadmap presentation. She defined the implementation of cashless transfers as regulator’s top priority and one of banking system strategic areas. According to Gontareva, the National Bank is going to cut demand on cash and “change people’s habits” for developing cashless infrastructure.
► Registers transfer to blockchain
Besides news about Cashless Economy, Konstantin Yarmolenko reports that the agency for E-government queries is working on pilot transfer of national registers to blockchain.
Ukraine has formed a community of developers and lobbyists of govtech services on blockchain. First of all, it is referred to Distributed Lab and Innovation and Development Foundation teams, developed e-Auction system. The system has been tested and is ready to be implemented in a number of cities.
Specialized newsportals focus on e-Vox service, providing electronic voting that has won a project contest, organized by the agency for E-government queries. The system is designed for voting at all levels, including presidential election or elections for Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
Everything would be optimistic except for the information context. Two days before the roadmap presentation, the NBU announced the fact that four payment systems, Yandex.Money, WebMoney, QIWI Wallet, and Wallet One, were operating in Ukraine illegally. The National Bank explained that above-mentioned companies didn’t obtain approval from the regulator for providing services. The good thing is that this ban is not related to bitcoin, which is not regulated in the country.