Ukraine Signals Blockchain Government – But Bans Bitcoin?

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According to an article in Cointelegraph the Ukrainian government is going to create a blockchain-powered auction system and then study ways to integrate blockchain technology for various public services such as personal identification, public records, banking, etc.

Bitcoin Foundation Ukraine and KUNA Bitcoin Agency are expected to announce a Ukrainian blockchain project to set up an E-Governance system in Odessa, Ukraine.

The corresponding memorandum was already signed by the First Deputy Head of Kyiv Regional State Administration Lev Partskhaladze, said KUNA founder, Michael Chobanyan to CoinTelegraph. Now Odessa Oblast may become the first administrative center to adopt blockchain technology for governance. Though it has not yet been confirmed just exactly which “blockchain” will be implemented.

As the first step in the project, Bitcoin Foundation Ukraine will hold a government real estate auction on the blockchain. It will ensure fair, transparent auction and eliminate the chance of document forgery. This blockchain-powered auction system is currently in the pilot stage.

According to the signed memorandum, the local IT-community will help develop the project in Odessa. They will study ways to integrate blockchain technology for various public services such as personal identification, public records, banking, etc.

The official announcement will be aired on Ukrainian TV, which can be seen later here.

However the Ukrainian government has taken a bitter pill on bitcoin – just recently, on November 3, 2015,  Ukrainian cybercrime police raided the home of the founder of Bitcoin Foundation Ukraine, Michael Chobanyan.

“The police raided by apartment looking for the bitcoins and proof that I somehow engage with bitcoin. This was quite obvious, I never made it a secret, I am a very public man and I spend a lot of time promoting bitcoin in Ukraine… I had already provided the authorities with the evidence they needed; in May 2015 I went to the local prosecutor, I gave them all the evidence about me and what I do to show that it is not illegal… The National Bank of Ukraine said that they were looking closely at the subject and that bitcoin is not illegal; in this country whatever is not illegal is legal.”

And according to Ukraine’s  National Commission for State Regulation cryptocurrency is illegal:

The National Commission for State Regulation of Financial Services Markets informs market participants information on the prohibition of the use and dissemination of “virtual currency / cryptocurrency (Bitcoint, Litecoint, Ripple, OneCoint etc.) In Ukraine.

About Richard Kastelein

Founder, Publisher and Editor in Chief of industry leading online publication, Blockchain News and co-founder and director at Blockchain Partners in London/Amsterdam/NYC. Kastelein is also an advisor with a number Blockchain startups doing ICOs including Humaniq.co where hs is interim CMO, DECENT.ch, Inchain, Chronobank, eGaas and others. He is regarded as one of the top journalists by the Blockchain and fintech communities – as is evident by his entry in the Top 150 Fintech journalists online and in the top 10 of the Blockchain Top 100 List.

As a prominent keynote presenter, he has spoken on Blockchain at events in Gdansk, Amsterdam, Minsk, Dubai, Antwerp, Eindhoven, Bucharest, Nairobi, Tel Aviv, Manchester, Brussels, Barcelona etc, where he helped spread the cause for Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency and, consequently, has built a notable network in the scene.

He’s also a director of a Dutch foundation called The Hackitarians and has run innovation events in London, San Francisco, Berlin, Amsterdam and other cities around the world on topics such Blockchain, Health, Energy, Internet of Things, AI etc.

In 2013, the European Commission appointed him as an expert for overseeing financing for emerging startups as a part of the European Commission’s 90 billion euro Horizon 2020 project, created in Brussels to promote innovation as a driving force of job creation and business ventures across Europe. He has also worked as an external expert for Innovate UK since 2012, judging startups for the UK government.

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