A recent report from Belarus suggests that the country’s largest bank might be looking to establish a cryptocurrency exchange. This is according to a recent report by the state-owned Belarusian Telegraph Agency.
Belarusbank reportedly already working on cryptocurrency exchange
The bank in question is Belarusbank, the nation’s premier bank. Specifically, the possibility of a cryptocurrency exchange was also corroborated in an interview on the ”Belarus 1 TV” channel.
In fact, Belarusbank’s chairman of the board Viktor Ananich said that the bank plans a push into digitization during this year. ”We are considering a possibility to establish a cryptocurrency exchange,” Ananich said, adding that ”we [Belarusbank] are working on it.”
Interestingly, Belarusbank is virtually completely controlled by the Belarus state. The bank’s shares are owned to nearly 99% by the State Property Committee of the Republic of Belarus.
Moreover, it also ranks as Belarus’ biggest bank according to a number of metrics – including the total amount of assets held and its number of branches. Nonetheless, Belarusbank’s ties to the Belarusian state suggests that there is interest for a cryptocurrency exchange on a governmental level in the Eastern European nation.
Smaller countries have typically been prone to cryptocurrency adoption, as this could give a head start in the burgeoning technology. This can be seen in countries such as Malta and Switzerland.
Belarus has already introduced cryptocurrency-friendly regulations
Furthermore, this is not Belarus’ first foray into the cryptocurrency world. The nation took steps to normalize cryptocurrencies through legalizing business activities tied to digital assets in March of last year.
In addition to this, the country also adopted new sets of regulations for cryptocurrency-related startups later in 2018. All of this seems to suggest that Belarus is intent on exploring the possibilities of cryptocurrencies.
Furthermore, if Belarusbank would indeed launch a cryptocurrency exchange, this would go a long way towards legitimizing cryptocurrencies further in the nation. Being the country’s premier bank would give its potential cryptocurrency exchange a distinct advantage.
Also, Belarusbank’s ties to the Belarusian state suggests that a possible cryptocurrency exchange would face little to no regulatory pushback from the government. More than anything else, this would indicate that the state is indirectly ready to work with Belarusbank to launch the cryptocurrency exchange.
Nevertheless, it is far too soon to say what will come of this initiative – or whether it is even actualized. As always, it remains to be seen how the story develops.
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Rasmus Pihl is a writer for Toshi Times by day and an avid follower of the blockchain industry by night. Rasmus holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the Gothenburg School of Business, Economics, and Law and runs a Swedish marketing consulting firm. Moreover, when he isn’t writing for Toshi Times, traveling, working or changing the world in some other capacity, Rasmus is more than likely caught up in postgraduate studies.