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Ukraine adopts law ‘On Virtual Assets,’ to regulate crypto market

Ukraine Adopts Law ‘On Virtual Assets’ to Regulate Crypto Market

The Kyiv parliament has adopted legislation that will govern crypto-related operations within Ukraine. “On Virtual Assets” is a law that recognizes cryptocurrency as an intangible good, but denies them legal tender status. It regulates the obligations and activities of crypto-businesses.

Ukraine Legalizes Crypto Activity, Defines Virtual Assets

Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada, the country’s parliament, has adopted the law “On Virtual Assets” on second and final reading. This legislation governs cryptocurrency operations in Ukraine. Deputies passed the bill with a large majority of 276 votes out of 376 present MPs, with only six voting against the motion.

Ukraine Adopts Law ‘On Virtual Assets’ to Regulate Crypto Market

The long-awaited law will come into effect after lawmakers approve amendments in the country’s tax code that deal with the taxation of cryptocurrency transactions. The Ukrainian legislature is yet to vote on these changes, Forklog noted in its report on the development.

The new law recognizes virtual assets as intangible good, which can be secured or unsecured. However, cryptocurrencies will not be accepted in Ukraine as legal payment methods and they will not be exchanged for any other goods or services.

The law also defines “financial digital assets”, which must be issued by Ukrainian entities. If these assets are backed with currencies, they will need to be regulated and supervised by the National Bank of Ukraine. The National Securities and Stock Market Commission, (NSSMC), will regulate underlying assets that are securities or derivatives.

Crypto Market participants will be able independently to determine the value and open bank accounts to settle transactions. They can also seek judicial protection for any associated rights. The country’s anti money laundering regulations are enforced on service providers. They also prevent terrorist financing through their platforms.

The current Ukrainian authorities maintain a positive attitude toward the country’s growing cryptocurrency industry. This was confirmed by officials of the executive power this week. During a visit to the U.S., President Volodymyr Zelensky highlighted the importance of launching a legal digital assets market which he described as a “development vector” of the nation’s digital economy. Mykhailo Fedorov (Minister of Digital Transformation in Ukraine) said that the country is striving to be a desirable jurisdiction for crypto companies.

The Rada voted the draft law “On Virtual Assets”, on its first reading last December. After introducing a number of changes, lawmakers presented a revised version of the document in June of this year. After criticism from NBU and NSSMC regulators, the bill was amended again with the authors taking into consideration concerns raised by other government agencies.

Do you think Ukraine’s business climate will improve for crypto companies following the adoption of the virtual assets law? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not intended to be a solicitation or offer to buy or sell any products or services. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. The author and the company are not responsible for any loss or damage resulting from or in connection to the content, goods, or services discussed in this article.

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Bank Protests and Holdups Continue to Rise in Lebanon, as Depositors Demand Savings

Bank Holdups and Protests Continue to Rise in Lebanon as Depositors Demand Their Own Savings

On Dec. 17, reports detail that residents in Lebanon have been staging sit-ins and protests at banks in order to access their own savings accounts. Since the economic collapse in 2019, Lebanon’s banks froze Lebanese bank accounts, and a number of branches have remained closed indefinitely. Although a few Lebanese have been forced to fork over their savings, most of the residents have fled or been arrested without any money.

Lebanon Banks Respond to Protests and Gunpoint Requests from People Wanting Their Savings Back

In August 2019, it became apparent to the world that Lebanon was suffering from a liquidity crisis, and there have been many reports that say financial coverups and U.S. sanctions put Lebanon’s economy in a vice grip. It has been reported that by late 2018, a handful of Lebanese commercial banks froze people’s accounts and by the first week of March 2020, Lebanon said it would default on its Eurobond debt.

The country began seeking restructuring agreements. However, Lebanon’s lira rate diverged from the black market rate in August . A report published in August 2022 details that the “black market rate is what the currency is actually worth now.” In June 2022, Bitcoin.com News reported on Lebanon’s inflation rate surging to 211% which highlighted the economist Steve Hanke, who said the country should leverage a currency board.

Bank Holdups and Protests Continue to Rise in Lebanon as Depositors Demand Their Own Savings
Lebanese soldiers who are still able to make a living as enforcers protect Lebanon’s central bank and current politicians.

On Dec. 17, NPR columnist Ruth Sherlock described how poverty-stricken Lebanese have been outside of banks protesting in order to get access to their own savings accounts. In Tripoli, Lebanon at an IBL Bank branch, Sherlock said a 53-year-old woman named Zahra Khaled sat in a wheelchair and would not leave the bank until the staff gave up her life savings. Sherlock reports that Khaled said the bank had frozen “tens of thousand dollars”.

Sherlock explains that Khaled’s protest was “one of the gentler tactics” and that some are using real or toy guns in order to recover their money. The NPR reporter does note that some Lebanese who resort to this tactic only want “what they are owed.” Countless reports, littered all over the internet, confirm Sherlock’s account that says Lebanese bank accounts have been frozen since 2019, since the onset of Lebanon’s economic collapse. In 2020, angry depositors and protests got so bad that the commercial banks armored the fronts of specific branch buildings with steel and cement walls.

Reuters reported in Sept. 2022 that “bank holdups snowball in Lebanon as depositors demand their own money,” as these types of acts have become a normal occurrence in the country. Reuters elaborated that five depositors held up banks in order to access their own funds and some depositors managed to get around $60K, while some people were taken into custody. In Nov. 2022, Al Jazeera detailed that banks in Lebanon reopened for two weeks. Al Jazeera was told by a Lebanese photographer that he had been waiting for a cheque to be cashed for over two weeks.

Sherlock’s reports stated that Khaled had negotiated for hours with the bank staff but they eventually left. Khaled was then taken out by the Internal Security Forces, Lebanese police who are also known as the ISF. Lebanese depositors have protested at banks such as Bank Audi, IBL Bank and Blom Bank. On Dec. 16, Reuters reported that a U.S. court of appeals has decided that Lebanese commercial banks can be tried outside Lebanon.

What do you think about Sherlock’s report that says Lebanese citizens are resorting to trying to get their funds at gunpoint and assembling protests in front of Lebanon’s commercial banks? Please comment below to let us know your thoughts on this topic.

Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman, the News Lead at Bitcoin.com News, is a Florida-based financial journalist. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. Redman is passionate about Bitcoin, open-source codes, and decentralized applications. Since September 2015, Redman has written more than 6,000 articles for Bitcoin.com News about the disruptive protocols emerging today.

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not intended to be a solicitation or offer to buy or sell any products or services. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. The author and the company are not responsible for any loss or damage resulting from or in connection to the content, goods, or services discussed in this article.

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