Ukraine is gearing up to make Bitcoin legal tender, experts believe.
It is understood delegates from President Volodymyr Zelensky’s government have met with counterparts in El Salvador ahead of creating a plan to put cryptocurrency adoption at the top of the eastern European giant’s financial agenda.
Zelensky – a vocal Bitcoin evangelist – has already instructed ministers to transform Ukraine into a crypto-friendly nation.
Last week, the 43-year-old politician was in California on a fact-finding mission as he toured Silicon Valley, exploring opportunities where Ukraine can swiftly navigate itself into positioning digital assets alongside its traditional currency.
The plan, says Professor Vyacheslav Evgenyev, is for Ukraine to make Bitcoin legal tender by the start of 2023 and create a “duel-currency country” where Bitcoin sits alongside the fiat hryvnia before potentially being phased in as the dominant financial structure.
“Ukraine is a natural fit for such a plan,” said the Russian financial expert.
“The people of the Ukraine are not only prepared for a financial revolution, they are also used to it and expect it.”
The hryvnia, 25 years ago this week, replaced karbovanets in a secretive financial overhaul that still doesn’t sit well with Ukrainians to this day.
“You need to look at the dynamic of Ukraine to understand how and why its government’s plan to restructure towards a digital economy could actually be a real stroke of genius,” Prof Evgenyev explained.
“It has a young population eager to move out of the shadow of its noisy neighbour and shake off the financial chains which have restrained it for so many years.
“Russia’s overbearing influence in the concerns of Ukraine could prove to be the fuel to it needed for the engines of success.”
Bitcoin, he believes, may just be the magic potion required to wake a sleeping giant.
“The prospects here are enormous,” the professor adds.
“It has one of the most diverse energy mixes in the world, and has an enviable carbon offset that could draw miners in their thousands.
“Add to that a president who is from the same forge as Bukele, a young population, and a great desire for change and, well, you have a formula that could very easily be very successful, very quickly.”
Indeed, El Salvador’s forward-thinking premier Nayib Bukele may have already had a pressing influence on Zelensky’s hunger to implement his Bitcoin ambitions.
“They have been in constant discussion – sharing ideas, plans and thoughts on the future financial positions of their nations,” Evgenyev says.
“At the same time as when Zelensky was in America last week, a ministerial party of Ukraine’s biggest financial brains was in El Salvador looking very deep into their financial structure to use as a starting point to Ukraine’s blueprint.
“The project will take less than two years to complete, with or without the support of international financial authorities, and will see Bitcoin becoming the dominant currency of Ukraine.”
President Zelensky formally announced Ukraine’s arrival onto the crypto world stage in San Francisco last week.
Meeting with some of the region’s leading investors and digital finance influencers, he made it clear the Ukraine government was focused on establishing a digital state.
“Our meeting here in Silicon Valley is a great opportunity to discuss the prospects for the development of the IT sector and innovations in Ukraine,” he declared.
“Our country is rapidly transforming and adopting innovations. Over the past year, we have managed to make a real breakthrough in the digital sphere. At the same time, we still need to do a lot.”
Meeting with delegates from the Stellar Development Network, he hinted that work was already underway to establish a legal framework that would pave the way towards Bitcoin adoption.
“Ukraine is now the best magnet with blockchain and crypto specialists in Europe,” he boasted.
“And one of the vectors of development of Ukraine’s digital economy is the launch and development of a legal innovative market of virtual assets.”
Last week, El Salvador became the first country in the world to make Bitcoin legal tender. Every citizen who was signed up to the program received $30 worth of Bitcoin pre-loaded onto a government sanctioned e-wallet.