Ukraine Speeds Up Digital Hryvnia Project, Plans Pilot for This Year
Ukrainian authorities are speeding up the development of the electronic hryvnia, a high-ranking government official indicated. The executive power in Kyiv is now in talks with the central bank and businesses involved in the project to pilot the digital currency as early as this year.
Minister Says Ukraine Aims to Launch Digital Hryvnia Sooner Than Planned
Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation wants to step up efforts to finalize the development of the nation’s electronic hryvnia (e-hryvnia), its head Mykhailo Fedorov revealed in an interview. The initial plan was to start the pilot phase in 2024 but the government now wants do that this year.
The first blockchain transactions with the digital hryvnia have been already conducted, Fedorov told the business news portal RBC-Ukraine. “It is developing, I was recently presented with an electronic hryvnia based on the Stellar product,” the minister said.
In January, 2021, the department chose the Stellar Development Foundation as a partner in the building of the country’s virtual assets ecosystem, including infrastructure for the Ukrainian central bank digital currency (CBDC).
The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) presented a “draft e-hryvnia concept” to members of the crypto industry, banks and other financial institutions in November, 2022. In January of this year, Tascombank carried out tests with the currency on the Stellar network.
The plan to introduce the CBDC is included in the central bank’s Strategy 2025. Fedorov, who also serves as Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, said he had written a letter to the NBU in which he insisted it’s necessary to speed up the development of the electronic hryvnia.
As prescribed by the current Ukrainian legislation, the NBU should launch the digital hryvnia pilot in 2024, the digital minister reminded. “But we want to start this year, not postpone to the next,” emphasized Mykhailo Fedorov who is also a crypto proponent.
Despite the ongoing conflict with Russia, Fedorov recently confirmed Kyiv’s “very ambitious plan” to make Ukraine the most digitalized country in the next two years.
“Digitalization is going to be the foundation for rebuilding. We are doing these reforms during the war,” Fedorov told reporters at the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos last month, also promising that the Eastern European nation will become “the best crypto jurisdiction in the world.”