On March 26 Michail Chobanyan and his partners launched the first Bitcoin selling agency in Ukraine, Kuna . A closer look at the market reveals that the company has positioned itself at the forefront of the fledgling industry among the CIS countries (Commonwealth of Independent States).
Michail Chobanyan, the founder of Kuna, offers fellow citizens the ability to trade bitcoins for fiat currency. Customers are welcome in the office, located in the central district of Kiev.
The price for a unit of Bitcoin is denominated in the official currency - the Hryvnia - and can be followed on the website. The instrument was named Kuna-BTC and its index is calculated based upon the BTC/USD and USD/UAH rates, obtained from local and international markets and traders.
Clients pay a 5% commission fee per transaction, but are offered advice free of charge. However, bigger corporate customers are charged consulting fees.
The owners of the company describe Kuna as more of a hobby, and not a means to earn a fortune. In the first year of operation Kuna's aim is to promote Bitcoin across Ukraine, but after the presidential elections the company is planning to expand its list of provided services. Besides selling, Kuna will also buy Bitcoin and incorporate some Bitcoin features in self-service banking terminals (ATMs) distributed around the country.
Ukraine’s Stance on Bitcoin
The National Bank of Ukraine has recently warned citizens about the risks of using Bitcoin on a regular basis or as a long-term investment tool. A similar position has been adopted by the Russian Federation and other countries. At the other end of the opinion spectrum, IT specialists from both countries, for example Pavel Durov and Alexander Olshansky, have supported the coin and define it as "promising" and "innovative".
As the country goes through rough times of change, attitudes towards Bitcoin will will likely shift onto a more positive note. Mr. Chobanyan hopes to stir up interest among representatives of the National Bank regarding modern financial technologies and instruments. The recent communication exchanges have not had any particular results, but have set the stage for mutual dialogue.