As cryptocurrencies attract more bank customers, banks are starting to take an interest in the services offered by exchanges. Some of them like DBS, Singapore’s largest commercial and retail bank, have decided to launch their own crypto-exchanges. An initiative far from being an isolated case since a new bank of the same size has just made this decision. Belarusbank, the country’s largest financial institution, has just announced that it will soon launch a cryptocurrency exchange service in Belarus. More details below.
Switching from trust to cryptocurrency with a VISA payment card
By choosing to provide services to cryptocurrency holders, Belarusbank enters into the first action phase of its digital transformation program. The first service of this program is to provide a gateway to convert trusts to cryptocurrencies and vice versa. This will be done in particular using a VISA payment card which will be provided to the bank’s customers. The fiat currencies concerned at the moment are the Belarusian ruble as well as the US dollar and the euro. It was planned that the new service will initially be accessible to citizens of Belarus and Russia.
Belarusbank then hopes to expand the list of countries supporting the service as well as the list of supported cryptocurrencies and currencies in the near future. To arrive at this product, Belarusbank had to enter into a partnership with the local crypto-payment operator Whitebird. The two partners are not in their first collaboration in the crypto sector, which would rather date from 2018. At the time, there was already talk of finalizing a cryptocurrency-based payment solution for the benefit of the bank’s customers.
The launch of a crypto-exchange as the next step
It should be noted that Belarus is one of the few countries that have allowed the development of crypto trade thanks to very favorable local regulations. In 2017, its president Alexander Lukashenko was already signing a draft decree that legalized the use of digital currencies in the country. All of this has therefore helped facilitate the adoption of cryptocurrencies by the inhabitants of the country and arouse the interest of banks such as Belarusbank. Before this initiative, the latter announced a year ago his intention to launch his own crypto-exchange. The project, which has not yet seen the light of day, has already entered its active phase and should be effective shortly.
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The examples of Singapore and Belarus prove once again that banks also want to participate in the revolution initiated by cryptocurrencies. It remains to be seen now how the entire crypto space will react, especially with the entry into play of central banks and their CBDCs.