Belarusbank, the biggest and state-owned bank in Belarus will launch its own crypto exchange service. It was founded in 1991 and was reorganized in October 1995 with a merger with Sberbank of Belarus. The bank’s 99.95% capital is owned by the state.
On Nov. 12, Prime Press reported that it will be offering its customers to buy and sell using Visa payment cards under its partnership with WhiteBird. As further stated in the report :
“ Today citizens of the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation can carry out the exchange. In the future, it is planned to expand the list of countries whose citizens will be able to exchange cryptocurrencies for Belarusian and Russian rubles, US dollars, euros.”
WhiteBird is the first and only legal cryptocurrency exchange operator in the CIS countries, as well as in Georgia and Ukraine. Its partnership with Belarus bank took place in the fall of 2018.
On Nov. 4, European Union approved new sanctions for 15 Belarusian officials including Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. The EU does not recognize the legitimacy of Lukashenko’s presidency and he is being accused of election fraud and repression.
Belarus is trying to create ways to get around with sanctions using digital assets similar to action undertaken by Iran and Venezuela. On Dec. 2017, Lukashenko signed a decree legalizing the use of digital currencies in the country. But experts were skeptical if this is going to work considering the effect of recession due to the massive implication of economic sanctions.
The state-level crypto adoption to get around with sanctions has been increasing in time. But countries that have adopted blockchain and cryptocurrency to utilize the technology is also on the rise. Whatever the reason for adoption, one thing can be conclusive about the recent events. Countries are starting to recognize the financial benefits and technology usage of cryptocurrencies resulting in its adoption growth.