Ukraine's National Bank exploring possibility of issuing e-hryvnia
Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) Yakiv Smolii says the regulator continues to explore the possibility of issuing its own digital currency, e-hryvnia, and will be ready to implement the project after it is confident in technological readiness and the absence of threats to the country's price and financial stability.
"We continue to look into the chance of issuing the e-hryvnia, and we will be ready to return to this matter when we are convinced that not only can it be technologically feasible, but also that it will not interfere with the pursuit of our mandate as a central bank, which is to ensure price and financial stability," he said at the NBU International Conference "Central Bank Digital Currencies: New Opportunities for Payments" on February 21.
According to Smolii, 80% of the world's central banks today are working on digital currency as this helps to strengthen confidence in the national currency and reduce the amount of cash in circulation.
The official noted that digital currency for citizens means an equivalent of an account directly in a central bank rather than in a commercial one.
At the same time, he admitted risks to financial stability, including the possibility of the flow of money from banks to digital currencies amid crisis.
As UNIAN reported earlier, in late 2016, the National Bank launched a research project to implement the e-hryvnia, a blockchain-based national currency, which could minimize transaction costs in money transfers from one participant in Ukraine's payment market to another, which could be carried out almost instantly.
Earlier, e-hryvnias in the equivalent of UAH 50,000 (US$2,042), which have now been redeemed already, were put into circulation as part of testing transactions between electronic wallets.