Bitcoin-friendly PrivatBank is now Ukraine’s national property

Announcements | December 22, 2016 By:

PrivatBank, Ukraine’s biggest commercial bank, has been nationalised in a move aimed at protecting 20 million customers and “preserving financial stability in the country.

The statement read,

“[The government is now a] 100 percent owner of PrivatBank and guarantees the uninterrupted functioning of this institution and the safety of its clients’ money.”

Local media reports say the bank gave loans to insiders that might never be repaid. PrivatBank’s bonds have fallen by almost 50 percent since the reports surfaced in November. The bank controls one third of Ukraine’s deposits and also has branches in Baltic countries.

Ukraine has a prolific bitcoin community with a significant number of people using the digital currency for making online purchases among other things. PrivatBank became the country’s first banking institution to offer an option to accept Bitcoin payments for online merchants. Last year, the bank introduced the new payment option on its online payment gateway where customers can choose Bitcoin payments and transfer hryvnia equivalent of bitcoin by scanning the QR code on merchant’s payment portal. The merchant would then receive the settlement either in hryvnia or euros based on the preference.

It is not unlikely this news will bring more attention to bitcoin within Ukrainian borders. Unlike traditional money, bitcoin isn’t to controlled by banks or governments, yet solely belongs to the funds’ owner. A more than viable alternative for the future, as governments meddle too much in private financial affairs.