Ukraine & Belarus legalize Bitcoin, Russia to follow shortly
The Ukrainian parliament approved Bitcoin adoption alongside other cryptos to safeguard the country's interests from potential abuse and fraud.
Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine's Vice Prime Minister, announced the news in a tweet
"Ukraine is already in top-5 countries on cryptocurrency usage. Today we made one more step forward": "Parliament adopted law on virtual assets! This will legalize crypto exchangers and cryptocurrencies, and Ukrainians could protect their assets from possible abuse or fraud."
Meanwhile, El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele told US senators on Wednesday to stay out of the country's "internal affairs" following they ordered an audit into the economic risks the US faces as a result of the Central American nation's approval of Bitcoin as legal currency.
Senators Jim Risch, Bill Cassidy, and Bob Menendez proposed a bipartisan bill in the US Senate that calls for a State Department review on El Salvador's Bitcoin adoption.
The draft Accountability for Cryptocurrency in El Salvador Act (ACES) is designed to "mitigate potential risks to the US financial system" including financial crime.
If the legislation passes, federal agencies in the United States will have 60 days to present a report evaluating El Salvador's cybersecurity and financial stability capabilities.
Bukele, 40, responded by tweeting,
"Ok boomers… You have 0 jurisdiction on a sovereign and independent nation," referring to the older generation of "baby boomers ... We are not your colony, your back yard or your front yard. Stay out of our internal affairs. Don't try to control something you can't control".
El Salvador was the first state in the world to use cryptocurrencies as its official currency, besides the US dollar, a move that has sparked outrage from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Concerns that Bitcoin may depreciate the US greenback
The US senators have voiced concern that accepting Bitcoin might undermine the US government's economic policy and incentivize criminal enterprises to engage in more activity.
The senators said in a statement, "This new policy has the potential to weaken US sanctions policy, empowering malign actors like China and organized criminal organizations. Our bipartisan legislation seeks greater clarity on El Salvador's policy."
Economists and the opposition have questioned the Salvadoran government's failure to be transparent in the process of purchasing and handling Bitcoin, which it has done since September.
So far, the country has accumulated 2,301 Bitcoin.
After the White House publicly criticized forms of corruption in Bukele's government and an increase in initiatives to acquire power, diplomatic ties between El Salvador and the United States have plummeted.
Additionally, Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko has signed a law formally endorsing the free flow of cryptos including Bitcoin (BTC).
The president has signed a directive titled "On the register of virtual wallet addresses and the circulation of cryptocurrency."
The document establishes a legal mechanism for Belarus Hi-Tech Park to develop and maintain a database of crypto wallet addresses used in unlawful transactions. The directive clause provides the procedure and guidelines for the government's confiscation of crypto from offenders.
Still, while Belarus keeps moving closer to crypto acceptance, several of the country's key political and economic allies are lagging in terms of crypto legislation.
First published on Feb 17, 2022