Ukrainian e-bank plans to offer Bitcoin trading in July

Monobank is seeking approval from the National Bank of Ukraine to launch its Bitcoin debit card later this month.

As the Ukrainian government progresses with cryptocurrency-related legislation, a major local e-bank is preparing to launch a debit card featuring Bitcoin (BTC) trading.

Ukrainian online banking application Monobank has completed a pilot integration with a cryptocurrency trading platform, co-founder Oleg Gorokhovsky announced Monday.

According to the executive, the new integration will enable Monobank users to buy and sell Bitcoin with a debit card. Monobank expects to release the new feature later this month pending approval from the National Bank of Ukraine, Gorokhovsky noted.

Launched in 2017, Monobank operates under the license of Universal Bank owned by tycoon Sergey Tigipko, a former central bank chief and ex-deputy prime minister of Ukraine. As of August 2020, Monobank’s user base reportedly amassed over 2.5 million customers.

Monobank’s Gorokhovsky, who is also a former deputy board chairman at Privatbank — the largest commercial bank in Ukraine — expressed his optimism about Bitcoin earlier this year. In a Facebook post in February, Gorokhovsky said that Tesla’s $1.5 billion Bitcoin purchase finally convinced him to believe that Bitcoin is here to stay. He also disclosed a substantial personal stake in Bitcoin, predicting that BTC will hit $100,000 by 2022.

Related: Ukraine taps Stellar to develop digital asset infrastructure, including CBDC framework

Ukrainian authorities are steadily progressing with a set of digital currency-related bills. Oleksandr Bornyakov, deputy minister of the Ministry of Digital Transformation, announced last Wednesday that the authority recommended the adoption of an updated draft bill “On Virtual Assets” in the second reading.

On June 30, the Ukrainian parliament also passed new legislation regulating payment methods, including regulations regarding Ukraine’s central bank digital currency.

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