Ukraine Puts CBDC On Par With Cash in New Payments Law

The Ukrainian legislation now lists the future central bank digital currency as a kind of money similar to cash or bank accounts.

Jul 1, 2021 at 6:49 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:20 p.m. UTC

The Ukrainian parliament considers the European country's possible central bank digital currency (CBDC) to be functionally similar to cash or other payment tools.

The Verkhovna Rada, the governing body of Ukraine, passed a law regulating payment methods on Wednesday. The new law on payment services contains just a brief mention of the future CBDC, but it officially puts the yet-to-be-launched electronic hryvnia (Ukraine's national currency) on par with cash, bank accounts and electronic payments.

The law mentions the "digital money of the National Bank of Ukraine – electronic form of a unit of account in Ukraine, emission of which is run by the National Bank of Ukraine."

The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has been looking into potentially launching a CBDC since 2018 and has even built a prototype on the Stellar blockchain. However, the project hasn't advanced much since, although the NBU has not appeared to give up on it: In 2019, the regulator hosted a conference dedicated to CBDCs with speakers from several other central banks that have also been exploring the potential of a CBDC.

NBU also published a report on the e-hryvnia in September 2019, talking about the 2018 pilot and analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of using decentralized tech for a CBDC.

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