According to a report by local news outlet BeITA , Belarusbank, the largest bank in Belarus, is considering the launch of its very own cryptocurrency exchange platform.
The plans for the exchange were revealed by Viktor Ananich, the Chairman of Belrusbank’s board. Speaking with Belarus 1 TV channel, Ananich remarked:
“We are considering a possibility to establish a cryptocurrency exchange. We are working on it.”
The bank is looking to intensify its focus on digitization, and it is reportedly seeking ways to expand its range of services by forming alliances with various mobile service providers. In addition to the reported cryptocurrency exchange, BeITA also stated that the bank is in the process of issuing virtual cards soon.
Ananich added, “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.”
It is widely speculated that Belarusbank’s efforts will go on quite smoothly, especially considering that the government of Belarus already legalized cryptocurrency-related activities to be carried out in the country last year. President Alexander Lukashenko signed a presidential decree that introduced comprehensive legislation and allowed for the legalization of the crypto sector.
The presidential decree, titled “On the Development of the Digital Economy” came into effect on March 28, 2018. To encourage the development of the digital economy in the country, the presidential decree provided legalization of crypto-related activities in the country and also introduced tax reliefs for crypto-based businesses, which will last till January 1, 2023.
Belarusbank’s efforts will be in similar style to that of Japanese financial services giant SBI Group. The financial services provider partnered with Denmark-based blockchain startup Sepior in October 2018. In a published press release , Sepior announced that SBI would by using its “threshold signature” wallet technology with its VCTRAADE exchange to ensure “on-line contents and transactions.”
SBI Virtual Currencies, a subsidiary of SBI Holdings, launched VCTRADE in June 2018 and it became the first government-licensed and bank-backed cryptocurrency exchange. At its inception, VCTRADE provided support for XRP, although trading in Bitcoin (TC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) were announced later.
Earlier this month, major crypto exchange Bitstamp announced its partnership with Swiss online bank Dukascopy to conduct Bitcoin transactions on behalf of the bank. The terms of the agreement state that clients will be able to make Bitcoin transfers to their accounts, convert them to fiat currency, and make trades on the Swiss Forex market.