Ukrainian crypto companies can now receive up to $75,000 each in the form of government sponsored grants. A special fund set up by the authorities in Kiev is already accepting applications from startups in various high tech sectors including the blockchain industry. Over $1.5 million will be distributed by the end of the year.
Startups to get a boost from the government
The new Ukrainian Startup Fund, described by its website as a national investment program that will finance the country’s most talented entrepreneurs, will serve as an instrument to support startups after their launch. It will spend 440 million hryvnia (over $18 million) for that purpose, Ukraine’s Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk announced this week.
Part of the funds will be allocated by the end of this year, the head of the Ukrainian government said during a press conference, Forklog reported. Approved applicants will receive a total of 40 million hryvnia, approximately $1.6 million in 2019, while another 240 million hryvnia, over $10 million, will be distributed in 2020. Each accepted project will be eligible for state funding of up to $75,000, Honcharuk detailed.
Only Ukrainian business projects oriented toward profit and which are in their early stages will be able to take advantage of the grants. Projects from innovative fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, big data, software development, and most notably blockchain will be prioritized. It’s also worth noting that the Ukrainian government will have a limited role in the selection process with only two representatives in the fund’s seven-member supervisory board. The other five members are elected by the private sector.
Cryptocurrency to get its own bill in Ukraine
The current administration in Kiev, under President Volodymyr Zelensky, includes many young professionals and is working together with the country’s business circles. It has taken steps to support innovative industries and renewed efforts to legalize and regulate economic activities related to cryptocurrencies.
The Ukrainian government has recently signed a memorandum with the crypto exchange Currency.com to cooperate on the drafting of new crypto and IT legislation. The trading platform is a resident of the Belarus High Technologies Park, a special economic zone providing preferential treatment and tax exemptions to entities from the digital asset industry. Currency.com experts, who previously advised the executive power in Minsk on crypto matters, have now joined a working group at Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation.
Representatives of the ministry, a multi-partisan parliamentary group called ‘Blockchain4Ukraine’ and members of the industry have prepared several draft laws regulating different aspects of the crypto space. The bills concern the taxation of cryptocurrency transactions and the tokenization of other assets as well as the implementation of blockchain technologies in government registries and the introduction of AML and CFT procedures in accordance with the FATF standards.
In September, it was reported that the Ukranian government has plans to legalize cryptocurrency, according to a report in the independent Ukrainian news publication Ligamedia.
The move to legalize cryptocurrency comes as Ukraine’s Digital Transformation ministry aims to make working with the Ukrainian government as easy as interacting with a digital service.