Three Ukrainian lawmakers have declared their bitcoin holdings as part of the country’s new electronics declaration system aimed at preventing corruption. The three hold altogether 11,644 bitcoins, worth approximately $47 million.
Ukrainian Lawmakers’ Bitcoin Holdings
Three members of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine which is the country’s unicameral parliament have declared their bitcoin holdings, according to Ria Novosti. Alexander Urbansky, Dmitry Belotserkovets and Dmitry Golubov are members of the political party “Bloc Petro Poroshenko.” The trio’s bitcoin holdings are shown in their electronic declarations, which Parliament members are required to submit. The publication detailed:
According to the declarations, Urbansky has 2,494 bitcoins (about 10 million dollars), Belotserkovets declared 398 bitcoins (1.6 million dollars), Golubov indicated in his declaration 8752 bitcoins (about 35 million dollars).
This “e-declarations” system, aimed to prevent corruption, mandates government officials and related persons to declare and describe all assets they possess inside and outside of Ukraine; the information is then made available to the public.
The first phase of this system was launched in September last year which affected 100,000 top and mid-level officials, explained the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The second phase started in January this year, affecting an additional 700,000-800,000 officials.
Recent Raids of Bitcoin Mining Farms
Meanwhile, some bitcoin mining farms in Ukraine have reportedly been closed down by the government. Recently, news.Bitcoin.com reported on bitcoin miners being arrested in Kiev and 200 pieces of mining equipment seized. Around the same time, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) reportedly discovered another cryptocurrency mining farm in the town of Kropyvnytskyi in central Ukraine. In both cases, the mining farms were closed down and mining equipment seized.
Artem Afyan, co-founder and managing partner of the law firm Juscutum, said that “over the past few months, we have seen a surge in law enforcement activity in the field of cryptocurrency.” However, he asserted that “the main motive of the raids is requisition. The mining equipment is seized.”
Bitcoin Regulations Being Discussed
Rostislav Kravets, Senior Partner of the law firm Kravets & Partners, explained that “the current legislation does prohibit the issuance and circulation of other payment instruments and monetary units, and the use of monetary surrogates as means of payment,” NV Business reported.
However, cryptocurrency is currently not banned, nor is its use prohibited. The central bank of Ukraine is aware of its use within the country. Last week, Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine Oleg Churiy said that the government is discussing the legal status of bitcoin and its regulation. The issue will be considered by the Financial Stability Board before the end of this month.
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