Ukraine Deputy Prime Minister: I'll Take Salary in CBDC

Mikhail Fedorov says he wants to make his country the world's leading jurisdiction for virtual currency after a successful wartime fundraising campaign.

AccessTimeIconJan 17, 2023 at 7:06 p.m. UTC
Updated Jan 19, 2023 at 7:34 a.m. UTC

DAVOS, Switzerland — Ukraine’s deputy prime minister wants to be the first user of a planned new central bank digital currency (CBDC) and take his salary in e-hryvnia, he told reporters at the World Economic Forum.

New laws will make the country the world’s leading jurisdiction for crypto assets, said Mykhailo Fedorov, who is also Ukraine's minister for digital transformation, after Ukraine successfully used crypto to raise money for its armed forces.

“Two weeks ago, I saw a pilot of the electronic e-hyrvnia in Ukraine,” he said, speaking through an interpreter, of plans to issue a CBDC in cooperation with crypto non-profit the Stellar Development Foundation. “I plan on becoming the first test user of the electronic hryvnia and I plan to receive on receiving my salary in e-hryvnia.”

Ukraine is one of a number of countries around the world considering whether to issue fiat money in digital form, with draft legislation on a digital euro due from the neighboring European Union later this year.

In Ukraine, virtual assets legislation signed into law last year, just weeks after the country’s invasion by Russia, will be supplemented by a new tax law for crypto and by a CBDC law due next year from the National Bank of Ukraine, Fedorov said.

“That will see Ukraine having the best crypto assets jurisdiction in the world … a complex, comprehensive approach to the legalization of all digital assets," he noted.

In an unprecedented move, crypto fundraising by Ukraine early in the war succeeded in raising $178 million in clothing, vehicles and other equipment for soldiers, without falling afoul of capital controls.

“Owing to the support of the world crypto community, we've managed to facilitate and expedite quick purchases of everything we needed for our armed forces,” Fedorov said.

CORRECTION (Jan. 19, 07:30 UTC): Corrects name and description of Stellar Development Foundation


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Jack Schickler is a CoinDesk reporter focused on crypto regulations, based in Brussels, Belgium. He doesn’t own any crypto.

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