According to a recent study conducted by Opendatabot, 57 officials in Ukraine have declared ownership of over 21,000 bitcoins (BTC) as intangible assets over the past two years.
Ukrainian officials are required to reveal their assets in an official electronic declarations process designed to reduce corruption. Opendatabot is a service that monitors the registration data of Ukrainian companies and officials.
“According to the research, all officials have [a total of] 21,128 bitcoins,” RBC reported, emphasizing that this number is only an estimate and does not include altcoins or other crypto assets declared in hryvnia.
Opendatabot found that, within the two year period, the largest number of bitcoins declared by a Ukrainian official was by Dmytro Ivanovych Golubov, a People’s Deputy of the Verkhovna Rada. He declared 4,376 BTC in 2015.
Anatoliy Ihorovych Urbansky, Head of the Odessa Regional Council of the 7th convocation, came second. He declared 4,256.3278 BTC with a value of 111.1 million hryvnia (~USD$ 3.8 million) as of December 2016.
When considering 2017 declarations alone, Ukrainian officials have so far declared a total of approximately 195.4 million hryvnia (~$6.75 million) in cryptocurrencies, according to a separate study conducted by Bihus.info. Compare to other types of investments, most officials invested their assets in cryptocurrencies, the research shows.
Almost a third of the declared cryptocurrencies were by Odessa City Council deputy Dmitry Palpatin Viktovovich. He declared 7,711 bitcoin cash (BCH) on August 1, the date Bitcoin Cash forked from Bitcoin, with a total value of 57.8 million hryvnia (~$2 million). This information was also shown in his declaration provided by Opendatabot.
The deputy with the second largest amount of declared cryptocurrencies in 2017 is another Verkhovna Rada deputy, Alexander Igorevich Urbansky. He declared 5,328 BCH with a total value of more than 40 million hryvnia.
Meanwhile, a third Verkhovna Rada deputy, Dmitry Ivanovych Golubov, declared ownership of 4,376 BCH with a value of approximately 33 million hryvnia.
In August 2017 three Ukrainian lawmakers of the Verkhovna Rada declared 11,644 bitcoins between them. They included Deputies Urbansky and Golubov as well as Dmitry Belotserkovets.
Cryptocurrency law not yet in place
Currently, the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) does not recognize bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. Several bills have been submitted for the regulation of cryptocurrencies in Ukraine but none has passed.
The first two bills were submitted in October 2017. The third bill, referred to as Bill No. 7246, supplements the second. It seeks to amend the Ukrainian tax code such as to exempt the profits from the purchase and sale of cryptocurrencies and their derivatives. However, the NBU called the documents premature and is still debating the legal status of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.