His declaration shows that a government official from the Rivne region in Ukraine has close to $8million in crypto and 500 Tesla shares. This news is coming as another Ukrainian lawmaker from Kyiv finds it difficult to show crypto assets on her asset statement.
Ukraine Officials Declare Crypto Assets. But, They Fail To Provide Evidence of Ownership
According to mandatory asset statements, crypto investments are growing in popularity with Ukrainian politicians over the past few years. According to recent media reports, a member of the Virovsky Village Council in the western Rivne Oblast has declared having 124 BTC worth almost $8 million in today’s prices.
Vladimir Pachesny bought the coins early 2013, for approximately $2,800. This was a little more than the previous exchange rate for the inflated Ukrainian fiat currency. The 36-year old local deputy bought 500 shares in the U.S.-based electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla. This increased crypto prices this year due to its acceptance and ownership of bitcoin.
Pachesny is not the first nor richest crypto investor in Ukraine. However, the country has been a pioneer in cryptocurrency adoption. Unveiled in April, a report revealed that 46,351 BTC were held by politicians and workers at government. This was more than $2.6 Billion. Mishalov Dmitrovich (member of Dnipro City Council) had the largest amount of 18,000 BTC.
According to Opendatabot, which tracks public registries across Ukraine, the 2020 declarations of public officials revealed that they have 46 351 BTC as well as various digital currencies such ETH, LTC and XMR. However, not all have provided the documents necessary to show that they own the coins. In spring 2018, the National Agency for Prevention of Corruption promised to verify these numbers.
An additional Ukrainian MP cannot account for cryptocurrency owned
Ukrainian media reported in September that a parliamentarian from President Zelensky’s Servant of the People party had failed to prove his digital holdings. According to data filed by the lawmaker, his wife Maria Saltykova had 42 BTC last fiscal year. However, NAPC claimed that no documentation was provided by him to verify this. He explained only that crypto was on a physical wallet, which disappeared after his car was stolen earlier in the year.
Gurin’s is not an isolated case in Ukraine. A recent article by the “Slovo i Dilo” portal showed that another member of the Verkhovna Rada, Anna Skorokhod, did not give the NAPC a proof that she actually owned the cryptocurrencies she had previously reported to the institution.
In her last declaration, Skorokhod stated she had 44 BTC, 130 ETH and 135 ETC while her husband at the time, Alexey Alyakin, kept in his possession some 118 ВТС, 78 ЕТН and 350 ETC. The Ukrainian MP gave “general explanations regarding the obtaining and ownership of the cryptocurrency without providing documents certifying the facts of the acquisition and the availability of the cryptocurrency as of the end of the reporting period.”
The cryptocurrencies’ value has been estimated at more than 2.7 million hryvnia (over $106,000) at the time of purchase. Skorokhod explained to the NAPC that her knowledge of digital money was insufficient and all transactions with coins were performed by her husband. Skorokhod stated that she did not have access to keys and any other documents following their divorce.
Virtual Assets of Ukraine, a public organization, and the Blockchain4Ukraine association, uniting lawmakers from different political factions in the Ukrainian parliament, have proposed to introduce a requirement that would increase transparency as far as officials’ asset statements are concerned. These two entities argue that public officials must include the addresses of cryptocurrency wallets in their asset declarations.
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