A Ukrainian government official said that United States cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex sought to collaborate with the Ukrainian government on developing the country’s cryptocurrency industry.
In a Nov. 20 interview with domestic blockchain media outlet ForkLog,. Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation Alexander Bornyakov claimed that Bittrex contacted the Ukrainian government to this end.
Referring to Ukraine’s recent memorandum of understanding with Binance to collaborate on creating crypto legislation in the country, Bornyakov said, “After we announced it, we began receiving requests from Bittrex, from Coinbase.”
Bittrex did not contact the Ukrainian government
Bornyakov’s statement was soon reported by local publications, interpreting it as Coinbase and Bittrex seeking to open offices in Ukraine. Cointelegraph contacted both exchanges for clarification, and a Bittrex spokesperson denied Bornyakov’s statement, saying, “We would like to confirm that no one from Bittrex Global has been in contact with an official of the Ukrainian government.” Another spokesperson added:
“Bittrex is committed to helping foster innovation of blockchain technology around the world. However, Bittrex has not reached out to Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation to partner with them.”
At press time, both Coinbase and Bornyakov have not responded to Cointelegraph’s request for comment. This story will be updated with their comments should they respond.
Cointelegraph previously reported that the Ukrainian government and Binance are forming a working group focused on creating “new virtual assets and a virtual currencies market in Ukraine.”
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said that the legalization of cryptocurrencies and the adoption of progressive legislation can play a key role in bringing positive growth to the economy, as well as attract further investment.
Blockchain and crypto lobbying firms increase in number
Crypto and blockchain companies are beginning to work more closely with governments on developing regulations for the industry. At the end of 2017, there were only 12 entities in Washington, D.C. lobbying on issues related to blockchain technology. One year later the number tripled to 33. By May 2019, it had increased to 40.
Lobbyists’ specific interests vary across organizations, yet a search of the Lobbying Disclosure Act Database reveals that the biggest interests include cryptocurrency taxation, standardizing concepts and definitions, and Anti-Money Laundering provisions.
Along with major industry leaders like Digital Currency Group and Polychain Capital, Coinbase formed purportedly the first supposed lobbying group representing the blockchain industry in Washington, D.C., in September 2018.