The National Bank of Ukraine presented to the participants of the payment market a draft concept of e-hryvnia – the NBU digital money. E-hryvnia is an electronic form of the monetary unit of Ukraine, which will be a direct obligation of the central bank. Its main purpose is to effectively perform all the functions of money, complementing the cash and non-cash forms of the hryvnia.
According to the NBU, the use of e-hryvnia should be convenient and accessible to all segments of the population, legal entities, government agencies, banks and non-banking financial institutions. Electronic money will contribute to the digitalization of the economy, the further spread of cashless payments, reducing their cost and increasing their transparency.
During a discussion with market participants, the NBU presented a possible e-hryvnia design, its architecture, characteristics and benefits for organizations offering payment services. It is expected that the use of a technological platform for instant e-hryvnia settlements, service programming and data flow analysis will create great opportunities for new business opportunities, digitalization of services, attracting new customers, optimizing costs, etc.
Currently, the NBU is considering and working on various possible options for using the e-hryvnia, on which its design and main characteristics will depend:
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e-hryvnia for retail non-cash payments with possible functionality of “programmed” money. Digital money will be used to make targeted social payments, reduce government spending on administration and control of the intended use of funds, as well as use smart contract technology to program a variety of payment logic depending on the occurrence of certain circumstances and facts; e-hryvnia for use in the area related to the turnover of virtual assets. For example, for the exchange, provision of issuance and other operations with virtual assets; e-hryvnia to enable cross-border payments. It will enable cross-border payments to be made faster, cheaper and more transparently.
The NBU continues to work on the draft e-hryvnia concept with market participants and government agencies. At the same time, it is planned to take into account the interests and needs of all market participants and potential users, as well as the potential impact of its implementation on the financial system of the state.
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The NBU has been working on the e-hryvnia project – the equivalent equivalent of the regular fiat hryvnia – since 2017 for a long time. In the summer of 2019, the NBU conducted internal testing of electronic hryvnias as part of a pilot project, and in early 2021, the Ministry of Digital Development agreed to cooperate with the Stellar Development Foundation on the e-hryvnia project – at the same time, the National Bank mentioned the possibility in one of the reports. A pilot project on the use of e-hryvnia was also launched.