Local Russian and Ukrainian sources including RIA Novosti have revealed that three major lawmakers within the Ukrainian parliament have disclosed a total holding of $45 million in bitcoin. The report of RIA Novosti came shortly after the announcement of the National Bank of Ukraine to fully regulate and legalize bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Ukrainian regulators, lawmakers and government officials will meet at the Financial Stability Board of Ukraine meeting expected to be held later this month to discuss specifications of proposed regulatory frameworks for bitcoin businesses, users and investors. If certain proposals are approved by the board and the country’s central bank, the federal government will likely move towards regulating its cryptocurrency market.
According to the disclosures of Ukraine’s national legislature members including Dmitry Golubov, Alexander Urbansky and Dmitry Belotserkovets, who according to Coindesk posses $36 million, $10 million and $1.6 million respectively, a large group of lawmakers and investors within Ukraine hold significant amounts of bitcoin as long-term investment.
Other regions such as China, Japan and South Korea have regulated their cryptocurrency exchange markets and industries for tax purposes and to prevent money laundering through bitcoin by integrating strict Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) systems.
Considering that members of Ukraine’s national legislature have already disclosed large-scale multi-million dollar investments in bitcoin, it is highly likely that the government will pursue the regulation and legalization of bitcoin in the upcoming months.
The legalization and regulation of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies within Ukraine will also lead to clarity in bitcoin mining, which will be an important step towards bitcoin innovation in the region. Russia, the neighboring country of Ukraine, which also has been reluctant in providing efficient and practical regulations for local cryptocurrency businesses, users and investors, will also likely legalize bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies in the upcoming months.
Recently, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s internet advisor announced an initial coin offering (ICO) campaign with a plan of raising $100 million to compete with China in the global bitcoin mining ecosystem.
The legalization and regulation of bitcoin by Ukraine and Russia will trigger an increase in bitcoin price and supplement additional momentum to bitcoin’s strong month-long rally. Although bitcoin price has demonstrated a minor correction that led to a slight decline in value, from $4,410 to $4,100, in consideration of various factors including the imminence of the activation of the Bitcoin Core development team’ scaling solution Segregated Witness (SegWit), rise in demand from institutional investors and the plan of European countries such as Ukraine and Russia to legalize bitcoin will likely lead to the increase bitcoin price in the mid-term.
As prominent stock researcher from Standpoint Ronnie Moas noted:
I expect that within a couple of years we will have between 50 and 100 million cryptocurrency users — up from approximately ~10 million today. We only have 0.15% market penetration right now — if that goes to 2% or 3% we will get to the $50,000 price target that I set at the beginning of July.