Despite this, the NBU recognises both the pros and cons of using digital assets and is involved in building a regulatory system for the fair and efficient treatment of virtual assets.
However, in April 2022, the NBU banned citizens from buying cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, for the national currency hryvnia (UAH) and allowed such transactions only through foreign currency accounts. In addition, a monthly limit for buying cryptocurrencies of no more than 100,000 hryvnyas ($3,300) per month has been set. The restrictions also apply to cross-border peer-to-peer transactions.
A spokesperson for the NBU press service said:
“Administrative restrictions on cryptocurrency transactions are of a temporary nature and will be gradually eased as the economic and financial situation in Ukraine normalises.”
The NBU justified its position by the need to stabilize the situation on the currency market and preserve macrofinancial stability. Cryptocurrency transactions can be used to circumvent currency regulations and create threats to macrofinancial stability, in particular as a channel for unproductive capital outflows from the country. In addition, the NBU sees risks of substitution of the national currency and the emergence of parallel money circulation, especially in times of war, which could pose a threat to the monetary sovereignty of the state.
The National Bank of Ukraine maintains a firm stance against narrowing the scope of the hryvnia as the only legal tender in Ukraine to minimise the risks during a full-scale war.