The Belarusbank in Russia launches cryptocurrency exchange service one month after the announcement about the country’s plans for a Central Bank Digital Currency. The largest Belarus Russian bank now allows crypto users in the country to purchase Bitcoin using their Visa cards.
Belarusbank announced their plans for the service back in 2019 and became the first Russian bank that launched its own crypto service.
Belarusbank is a state-owned bank. It has a new crypto exchange that is reportedly a collaboration between Belarusbank and bitcoin exchange provider Whitebird. The project allows users to trade their cryptocurrency to fiat money such as US/AU Dollar and EUR. Additionally, they are currently working on offering Litecoin (LTC) and Ethereum (ETH).
‘We are not going to stop there. In the near future, we will announce another project in the crypto industry,’ announced Victor Bezrukov, the head of Belarusbank digital transformation department when asked about their plans to expand in the crypto industry.
Belarus’ adoption of cryptocurrency was legalized in 2018 by the government, allowing residents and businesses to perform crypto trading. The legalization of crypto was included in a viral marketing campaign to attract tech companies to set up their businesses in the country.
However, protests broke out and tech workers left the country when Belarus’ president Alexander Lukashenso acquired a sixth term in the office.
Just recently, Russia’s central bank announced its plans to create the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). The bank stated that public consultations and comments regarding the project are accepted until December 31.
‘Citizens and businesses will be able to purchase digital rubles by exchanging them for cash or funds stored in their bank accounts. The possibility of receiving salaries, benefits or other payments in digital rubles is also being considered,’ announced by the central bank.
Deputy governor of Central Bank of Russia Alexey Zabotkin stated: ‘The existence of the digital ruble will curb the risks of using other, less reliable, payment solutions in the digital space,’ and ‘the creation of an extra payment infrastructure for the digital ruble will additionally support the reliability and interrupted operation of the country’s payment system.’
Alexander Lukashenko signed a decree that allows the use of cryptocurrency and initial coin offering (ICO) in the country. He also announced that cryptocurrencies are tax-free for 5 years. As of today, Belarusbank’s crypto service is only available to the residents of Russia. Nonetheless, the bank is planning to extend its service in other parts of the world.
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