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Belarus Largest Bank Launches Cryptocurrency Exchange

Belarusbank, the largest bank in Belarus, has launched a cryptocurrency exchange, local media reported Friday. 

The initiative saw the bank partner with Hi-Tech Park-based crypto payment operator White Bird to allow both Russian and Belarusian citizens to trade cryptocurrency using Visa payment cards. 

It is not clear what digital currencies will be listed on the exchange, but the report noted that users could exchange several cryptocurrencies for popular fiats, including Belarusian and Russian rubles, as well as USD and Euro. 

Per the report, the service will be unveiled across various parts of the world, and plans are also being made to list more digital currencies on the exchange in the future. 

Belarus Eyeing Crypto Since 2017

This is not the first time that BelarusBank and Whitebird will be involved in a crypto-related initiative, as sources say they have collaborated on similar projects since 2018. 

The development comes after the bank’s board chairman, Viktor Ananich, disclosed last year in an interview with Belarus 1 TV that the financial institution is considering launching its cryptocurrency exchange. 

At the time, Belarusbank noted that its main focus was on its digitization program, an initiative launched to enhance the bank’s general operations. 

Launched in July 1991, Belarusbank is a government-owned bank with 99.95% of the bank’s shares belonging to the Belarusian government. 

Belarus is regarded as a crypto-friendly nation after the government legalized the use of digital currencies back in 2017 and later released a regulatory framework for its Hi-Technology Park, the hub of Belarus’ crypto and blockchain business activities.

The bank’s move into crypto trading services comes at the right time as the market is currently bullish. Several cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, are recording new milestones with more institutional investors flocking into the market. 

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