Blog Article

Supporting Ukrainian Financial Institutions to Leverage Blockchain


Carolyn Yi

Publishing date


Financial institutions

Last month, SDF convened a two-day event to connect leaders from Ukrainian financial institutions and the banking market with experts from the blockchain and virtual asset industry. We initiated the event as part of our ongoing partnership with the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, which began in January 2021 in support of developing a virtual asset strategy. It was co-hosted with the Ministry of Digital Transformation and the Association of Ukrainian Banks, and included the participation of the National Bank of Ukraine.

Ukraine is at a formative point in its virtual asset journey

The Bill of Ukraine on virtual assets is approaching a vote in the coming months. As financial institutions in the country prepare for the implications of new legislation, conversations that bring the public and private sector together are vital in order to build a thriving industry.

With this in mind, we designed this event to provide practical information for key stakeholders and decision makers in Ukraine who will be involved in issuing, regulating, and developing infrastructure for virtual assets. Representatives from the National Bank, Ukrainian parliament, and across the banking market were in attendance.

What this could mean for Ukrainian financial institutions

The forthcoming legislation could provide clarity that guides the development of the country’s virtual asset industry. When the door to innovation opens up, financial institutions may see new opportunities to utilize virtual assets to enhance offerings, introduce efficiencies, and build a more inclusive financial system. Key players in Ukraine will make consequential decisions that shape the country’s virtual asset ecosystem in the months ahead. What business opportunities will they be able to pursue? How will they build the infrastructure to support new assets or services?

This convening was designed to help stakeholders work through these types of questions and equip them with actionable information. Industry leaders building on Stellar shared real world use cases and practical learnings on subjects like compliance, anti-money laundering, tokenization, and more:

  • Jason Chlipala, Chief Operating Officer at Stellar Development Foundation, shared an overview of how the open-source Stellar network works and what it can do. Stellar is designed so all the world’s financial systems can work together on a single network.
  • Dante Disparte, Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Global Policy at Circle, spoke about cross-border payments and provided an introduction to stablecoins, including a look at the one of the largest, USDC. Circle is a leading digital financial services firm building treasury and payments infrastructure for the internet.
  • David Carlisle, Director of Policy and Regulatory Affairs at Elliptic, spoke about compliance and anti-money laundering - specifically, how blockchain networks are being used, and how to ensure compliance with country regulations. Elliptic provides analytics for crypto businesses and financial institutions to manage financial crime risk and achieve regulatory compliance.
  • Simon Chantry, Co-Founder and Chief Information Officer at Bitt, spoke about Central Bank Digital Currencies (or CBDCs) and digital currency management systems. Bitt enables central banks, financial institutions, and other stakeholders to deploy, manage, and integrate with digital currencies on payment networks.
  • Radko Albrecht, Founder and CEO of Bitbond, spoke about fiat-backed stablecoin issuance, specifically the process from issuance to settlement and custody. Bitbond specializes in asset tokenization and digital asset custody technology for banks and financial intermediaries like real estate platforms and brokers.
  • Patrick Campos, Chief Strategy Officer at Securrency, spoke about virtual asset infrastructure, and how to build rails on which value can be exchanged securely. Securrency automates compliance, streamlines financial transactions, and interconnects markets with open infrastructure.
  • Craig Mc Gregor, Co-Founder and CEO of DSTOQ, provided an introduction into tokenization of non-currency assets and how this improves access to financial services. DSTOQ uses tokenization and digital asset issuance to make investing accessible to anyone with a mobile phone.

Why public-private partnerships are crucial

Ultimately our goal is to help Ukrainian leaders leverage blockchain technology to deliver meaningful infrastructure and solutions. Deployed correctly, blockchain can benefit the local economy and end users without sacrificing oversight, accountability, or regulation.

This is why it is critical for the private sector to engage with the public sector, to ensure that legislation balances the need for new and improved financial rails with the need to guard against innovations that empower illicit actors. When public and private sector leaders share the desire to get this right, it’s possible to deliver on innovation that will be transformative.

Access expert presentations from the event

We’ve made presentations from our expert speakers accessible here. Consider it a 101 playlist on key issues for financial institutions to consider when developing infrastructure for virtual assets.

We look forward to sharing more updates about our continued work with institutions in Ukraine, fostering collaboration that gets us closer to our vision of an interoperable global financial system.