Belarusbank, the largest commercial bank in Belarus has launched the country’s first legal crypto trading platform.
The move is the latest crypto adoption news to come out of a country currently experiencing anti-government protests against President Alexander Lukashenko.
Belarusbank Floats Country’s First Legal Crypto Trading Service
Belarusbank announced the launch of its crypto exchange trading desk via a press release published on Nov. 16. According to the announcement, the country’s largest bank began trading on Friday.
The news marks the culmination of almost two years of work on the project as the bank first partnered with crypto exchange service provider WhiteBird back in 2018. In Jan. 2019, it revealed plans to create its own trading desk.
As part of the press release, the Belarussian banking giant revealed that its trading desk will service customers in Belarus as well as Russia. The platform will also enable crypto trading for fiat currencies like the ruble, euro, and US dollar.
For Viktor Bezrukov, the head of the bank’s digital transformation department, the floating of a crypto trading desk is only the beginning of its cryptocurrency adventure. According to Bezrukov, Belarusbank has plans to announce another crypto-related venture in the future.
The newly created crypto trading desk is the first legal exchange service not only in Belarus but also in Ukraine and Georgia. According to the press release, the bank is working towards expanding its market presence across Eastern Europe and beyond.
Crypto Adoption in Belarus on the Rise
Belarusbank now joins an exclusive class of commercial banks that operate crypto trading desks. Singapore’s largest bank DBS Bank and Russian banking giant Gazprombank also have crypto exchange platforms.
Apart from crypto trading desks, commercial banks in different countries are also offering custodial services for retail and institutional clients.
As previously reported by BeInCrypto, Eastern Europe is beginning to see increased crypto adoption. This uptick in grassroots cryptocurrency utilization is consequently also seeing an uptick in darknet marketplaces in the region.
Over the last three months, Belarus has been in the grips of socio-political turmoil with thousands taking to the streets in protest against the Lukashenko administration. Non-profit organizations are even using bitcoin (BTC) donations to support protestors in the country.