Why Ukraine Should Be a Wake-up Call for American Financial Regulators | Opinion

Michelle Ritter

In politics, as in life, timing is everything. Which is why the timing of the White House's digital asset executive order is so critical. The new directive represents the highest-profile U.S. government signal to date about the importance of digital assets

Last month, with the region's financial arteries arrested, Ukrainians were lining up at ATMs, resulting in the country's national bank instituting a withdrawal limit of 100,000 Ukrainian hryvnia per day (roughly $3,400). When this news spread around the world, millions of dollars came pouring into the country—in the form of cryptocurrency.

One Ukrainian whose bank account had been frozen was grateful that he could simply get the funds needed to move across the border to safety. Charities in the Ukraine were suddenly receiving crypto contributions from around the globe. A crypto validator explained why cryptocurrency has been so crucial to this fundraising: "Crypto is inherently worldwide. To donate using traditional currency often requires intermediaries, [but] cryptocurrency solves this by simplifying the process." Others pointed out that such transactions would also successfully evade Russian surveillance and attempts to isolate Ukraine.

The Ukrainian government supported this effort, too. Vice-Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov issued a tweet with crypto wallet addresses. Civil society got in the mix too: Journalists on the ground have been using cryptocurrency to underwrite their vital coverage.

This article was originally published in News Week

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