Belarusbank, the largest bank in Belarus, has launched cryptocurrency buying and selling services today in partnership with WhiteBird.
As reported by local daily Prime Press, the services will be available to the bank’s customers in Belarus and Russia, initially. Additionally, the bank has plans to add more countries to this list as well as expand the list of offered digital currencies.
The bank launched these new services today, allowing its customers to buy and sell cryptocurrencies using Visa cards. Furthermore, it has plans to add a total of four fiats for crypto purchases: Belarusian ruble, Russian ruble, US dollar, and euro.
Belarusbank is a state-owned bank with a 99.95 percent government share in it. The bank was reorganized in 1995 by merging with Sberbank of Belarus.
Its plan to launch crypto services was not abrupt as its chairman publicly revealed plans in such directions last year.
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“The possibility of organizing an exchange platform for trading cryptocurrencies is being worked out by the bank’s management,” Viktor Ananich, Chairman of the Board of JSC JSSB Belarusbank, then said (translated).
“The bank’s projects in the field of digital technologies are practically exclusive.”
Penetration of Cryptos in Eastern Europe
The bank partnered with WhiteBird, the only legal cryptocurrency market operator in the CIS countries, in 2018.
While Belarusbank is launching cryptocurrency trading, other international platforms are exiting Belarus; Bittrex, earlier in September, terminated its crypto services for its clients in Belarus, Ukraine, and a few other countries.
Meanwhile, the Russian government is becoming strict towards the digital currency sector as a whole. The country has defined cryptos and see them as property but made their usage as payment mode illegal.