A new study has found that 57 Ukrainian officials have declared over 21,000 bitcoin as intangible assets over the past two years.
According to the research, the greatest number of digital currency owners was found in the Odessa regional council and the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
Figures from Opendatabot show that the largest number of bitcoin was owned by Golubov Dmitry Ivanovich, a People’s Deputy of the Verkhovna Rada. He declared the ownership of 4,376 bitcoins in 2015.
Urban Anatoly Igorovich, head of the Odessa Regional Council of the 7th convocation, listed that he owned 4256.3278 in 2017.
Bitcoin Cash has also been a popular cryptocurrency declared by other Ukrainian officials. So much so, that Dmitry Palpatin Viktorovich, Odessa City Council deputy, declared that he owned 7,711 bitcoin cash coins in 2017. At current market values that would put his investment at over $12 million.
Despite the study highlighting the declaration from Ukrainian officials about the ownership of digital currencies, there is still no legal status for cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin in the country.
Sergei Mitkalyk, executive director of the anticorruption headquarters, said:
National Bank of Ukraine does not recognize bitcoin as a virtual currency, money surrogate, intangible value, virtual goods, etc…Courts, considering disputes over virtual settlements, come to a unanimous opinion that the cryptography is neither a thing nor property rights and does not bear any material features at all.
Regardless of this, though, a number of bills have been passed for regulation in Ukraine, but none, so far, have passed.
The first two bills were passed in October 2017. These were introduced by a group of deputies in collaboration with the Ukrainian Blockchain Association. These were followed by a third bill in November 2017 to supplement the second bill. The bill sought to amend the tax code of Ukraine to exempt the profits made from the sale and purchase of digital currencies.
For now, it appears that the NBU is still debating the status of digital currencies in the country. However, the revelation of the ownership of bitcoin by Ukrainian officials comes at a time when the market is experiencing regulatory uncertainty and the market’s attraction among criminals.
Just today it was reported that Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange Coincheck had been hacked, resulting in the biggest crypto theft in history that saw the loss of $530 million worth of NEM.
The news of this means that even more attention will be placed on the cryptocurrency market, with the possibility of more pressure being applied for it to be regulated.
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