Ukraine’s president returns virtual assets bill to parliament for review

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Volodymyr Zelensky, the President of Ukraine, has postponed the signing of a bill that would establish the nation’s regulatory framework around digital assets. The bill, titled Virtual Assets, won Parliament’s approval on September 8. However, according to an October 5 statement from the Presidential Office, Zelensky has returned the legislation to Parliament along with a number of proposed improvements.

According to the statement, the president’s main objection to the legislation in its current form is the cost of creating a new digital asset watchdog:

According to the legislation, the regulation of the virtual asset market is carried out by various government bodies depending on the type of these assets, in particular through the creation of a new executive body. The creation of a new body, under the provisions of this Law, requires significant expenditures from the state budget.

Instead of creating a separate enforcement agency focused on digital assets, Zelensky proposes placing them under the current National Securities and Exchange Commission, a supervisory agency under the charter “of the President of Ukraine and accountable to the Verkhovna Rada,” the nation’s parliament.

This development appears to reflect the Ukrainian authorities’ realistic search for a more practical implementation of the digital asset regulatory regime rather than the nation’s forward-looking stance on cryptocurrencies.