Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation, in collaboration with the IT Ukraine Association, has unveiled a list of top Ukrainian IT companies aimed at promoting local tech products on the global stage. Among the 96 startups and product companies featured on this list, four crypto and blockchain-related Ukrainian firms have been included:
- Kuna: Originally a crypto exchange but now operating as a crypto banking B2B platform, Kuna was founded by Mykhailo Chobanian in 2014.
- Hacken: Founded by Dmytro Budorin in 2017, Hacken is a blockchain security auditor, focusing on enhancing security in the blockchain space.
- Lawyerd: Established in 2020 by Igor Hludov and Igor Makushinsky, Lawyerd operates as a blockchain-based platform for brand protection, leveraging blockchain technology to safeguard intellectual property.
- V-Art: Founded in 2020 by a team consisting of Anastasiia Gliebova, Anton Velychko, Oleksandr Velychko, Olga Simson, and Roman Minin, V-Art is a blockchain-based licensing platform designed to support non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Despite these innovative developments in the Ukrainian blockchain and crypto space, the local crypto market has faced challenges. The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has been accused of implementing an unofficial ban on all crypto-related banking activities. This situation escalated in April 2022 when the NBU prohibited the purchase of cryptocurrencies using the national currency, Ukrainian hryvnia, citing the imposition of martial law.
In a March 2023 interview with UBR.ua, Mykhailo Chobanian, the CEO of Kuna, expressed concerns that the NBU’s actions had severely impacted the crypto market, effectively stifling it. The NBU’s measures were reportedly aimed at curbing money laundering activities and illegal online casinos within Ukraine, but they had a broader impact on the crypto industry in the country.