Belarusbank, the largest bank in Belarus, is thinking of launching a cryptocurrency exchange. The Chairman of the Board of the bank, Viktor Ananich, told the Belarus 1 TV channel as much, according to a report from BelTA, a local information agency, today.
Regardless of whether the bank will establish a cryptocurrency exchange or not, one of the focuses for Belarusbank in 2019 is digitalization. “We are considering a possibility to establish a cryptocurrency exchange. We are working on it,” Ananich said.
In addition to a virtual currency exchange, Belarusbank is also looking into expanding its range of services by working with mobile service providers. One particular new service that is in the pipeline for the bank is a virtual card, which is planned to be launched in the new future.
Digitalization is not a new phenomenon for the banking industry, not even within Belarus. Back in 2017, the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus established an information network based on blockchain technology. As a first step, the blockchain network was implemented within the banking system of the country.
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“Digitalization-related projects will be virtually exclusive in nature. However, at present things are changing very fast and we need to keep up with them,” Ananich added.
Belarusbank plans crypto entrance despite the bear market
The interest from Belarusbank comes despite the fact that the cryptocurrency sector is currently in a bear market and demand for virtual currencies is starting to go elsewhere. Just this morning, Finance Magnates reported how demand for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin is shifting towards traditional commodities, such as gold, according to Jan Van Eck, the Chief Executive Officer of Van Eck Associates.
This has seen numerous exchanges and crypto-focused companies having to resort to unpleasant measures to stay afloat, which has mainly consisted of letting go of their employees, as Finance Magnates previously reported.
Nonetheless, large financial institutions are still willing to enter into the cryptocurrency space. Earlier this month, TradeStation Group, the US subsidiary of Monex Group, announced that it plans to launch its cryptocurrency services later this year under the brand name TradeStation Crypto.