Ukraine’s central bank has unveiled the roadmap for its Cashless Economy scheme, which will see it use the Blockchain as the basis for e-money transmission from 2017.
Blockchain Roadmap for Payments, State Registers
The plans, which run until the first quarter of 2018, were revealed by Konstantin Yarmolenko, an advisor to the head of the agency for E-government queries.
“The [National Bank of Ukraine (NBU)] Board has approved and presented a roadmap for Cashless Economy, which will use Blockchain technology in Ukraine for the first time,” Yarmolenko commented on his Facebook page.
“At the same time, the Ukraine E-Government agency is preparing some simply fantastic news relating to a pilot scheme for transfer of state registers to the Blockchain!”
Not Looking for a New Cryptocurrency
Ukraine has broadly accepted both Bitcoin and blockchain technology. This marks a contrast with confused and often contradictory treatment in neighboring Russia.
Yarmolenko added the agency “was looking forward to working closely with market participants, developers and… enthusiasts interested in this innovative technology.”
The initial push to incorporate Blockchain into NBU activities is slated to be ready by the fourth quarter of 2017. According to the roadmap, the bank then wishes to start acting as an emitter of electronic money. This, it says, will be attractive to the economy as this form of money makes acquisition cheaper and could even become an alternative to card payments.
However, the scheme’s proponents specified the goal is not to produce a decentralized cryptocurrency, but rather a digital form of hryvnia, Ukraine’s currency.
“The system will not be decentralized in terms of transaction verification,” a respondent clarified regarding a query as to whether the NBU would be the sole verifier and ‘miner’ of a potential new currency.
“It’s nice to see that the National Bank is on trend!” another comment read.
A Blockchain Arms Race?
In Ukraine, however, it is not just the NBU and central government interested in making blockchain technology pay. In the breakaway eastern region of the country, currently controlled by a de facto independent government, blockchain is also gaining popularity.
Specifically, authorities want to use the system as a way to circumvent the numerous blockades on traditional finance Ukraine and many other countries impose.
A special focus group, dubbed DAO Donbass, even held talks with ministers in September with a view to producing their own “roadmap to the integration of cryptocurrency into [the region’s] economics.”
What do you think about Ukraine’s latest plans? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images via Shutterstock
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