Ukraine joins the European Blockchain Partnership

Ukraine

By joining the European Blockchain Partnership, Ukraine aims to expand its intergovernmental blockchain network to other countries.

This step will further strengthen relations between Ukraine and the European Union.

Ukraine is the third non-EU country to become a member of the European Blockchain Partnership (EBP), after Norway and Lichtenstein. The EBP is a coalition of 27 countries to facilitate the easy delivery of public services in the member states.

According to the Ukrainian Minister of Digital Transformation, Ukraine will join the EBP as an observer on June 17. However, their goal is to connect their digital economy with the other member states of the EBP. Also, Ukraine wants to expand cooperation with other countries in the blockchain network.

The accession process already started in 2021

The second largest European nation has been trying to take part in the EBP since last year. The move began when Oleksii Zhmerenetskyi and Konstantin Yarmolenko wrote a letter of intent to European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen.

Zhmerenetskyi heads the blockchain4Ukraine parliamentary group, while Yarmolenko is the CEO of the Ukrainian Virtual Assets organization. In the letter, Ukraine also signals its intention to join the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI).

However, von der Leyen only agreed to Ukraine joining the EBP as an observer. Yarmolenko announced that Ukraine plans to pilot the EBSI test node. It also plans to use blockchain technology to test cross-border applications for public services.

He said that the crypto donations received by Ukraine during the war against Russia proved very useful and continued:

“Our next goal is the full integration of EU and Ukraine blockchain solutions under the EBP/EBSI initiatives.”

Ukraine hopes to become a full EBP member once it completes the blockchain pilot use cases with EBP as an observer. Yarmolenko also said that Ukraine would like to have more blockchain partners to enable its citizens to access cross-border public services. These services include refugee/asylum seeker assistance, identity verification, and verification of educational qualifications and other credentials.

Deepening of Ukraine relations with the EU

Yarmolenko further said that by taking this step, Ukraine will strengthen its relations with the EU. Zhmerenetskyi highlighted other benefits of the EU-wide blockchain partnership. He said that this would allow Ukrainian driver’s licenses to be recognized in other parts of Europe if one applied for asylum there or became a refugee.

The move would also lower the hurdle for recognizing Ukrainian certificates for higher education. Recently, the European Commission’s Mairead McGuinness emphasized the need to regulate digital assets. McGuinness heads the Union for Financial Services, Capital Markets and Financial Stability on the Commission. She added that regulation must encompass all crypto assets, including stablecoins.

The Commissioner also informed that the Commission is discussing a proposal for Crypto Asset Markets (MiCA) with the French authorities. According to McGuinness, the MiCA regulations will include clear guidance on financial stability, consumer protection and market integrity. She further said that the need to discuss this proposal has become more urgent due to the current conditions in the crypto market. However, she gave no information on the progress of the discussion with the French authorities.

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