It’s hard, even for its worst critics, to mock or denigrate Bitcoin (BTC) when you see the role the king of cryptocurrencies has played in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. While Zelensky’s government is still calling for cryptocurrency donations, local banks are already banned from accepting outgoing cross-border transfers of hryvnia (the national currency) to crypto asset trading platforms. Now, even in Ukraine, it is forbidden to buy bitcoins in hryvnias.
BTC purchases banned in Hryvnia, and limited in foreign currency
Invoking martial law, which has been in effect in Ukraine since February 24, 2022 and the Russian military intervention, the Ukrainian central bank prohibits the purchase of cryptocurrencies using the national currency, hryvnia.
In its publication dated April 21, the National Bank of Ukraine outlines that, even in foreign currency, individuals will be limited in their purchases of bitcoin and other cryptos. Thus, citizens will only be able to buy up to 100,000 hryvnias per month (about $3,400) of digital assets with their money (and excluding hryvnia, therefore).
Cryptocurrency purchases and exchanges are in fact considered “cash-like transactions” by central bankers, which makes them fall under this new addition of restrictions, in order to “prevent unproductive outflows of capital from the country.”
A week before the conflict began, on February 17, 2022, the Ukrainian Parliament gave legal status to Bitcoin and cryptos, via the vote of the Law on Virtual Assets. This law was officially ratified by President Zelensky despite the war on March 16, 2022. This was obviously not enough to prevent this ban on digital asset trading, which we hope will be temporary, until peace is restored.