The largest bank in Belarus, Belarusbank, has reportedly begun providing a cryptocurrency exchange service, allowing customers to buy bitcoin using Visa cards.
Belarusbank’s new cryptocurrency exchange service is in collaboration with bitcoin exchange service provider Whitebird, several local news outlets reported Thursday. The bank revealed its plans to create a cryptocurrency exchange platform early last year.
Founded in 1991, Belarusbank merged with Sberbank of Belarus in 1995. The government of Belarus owns 99.95% of the bank’s capital. In 2018, the bank entered into a strategic partnership with Whitebird, a resident of Belarus’ Hi-Tech Park, which is also known as the Silicon Valley of Eastern Europe. Whitebird operates under Belarus’ legal framework and in accordance with Decree No. 8 of the President of the Republic of Belarus “On the development of the digital economy” and related decisions of the supervisory board of the Hi-Tech Park.
“This is a service that allows you to quickly buy or sell bitcoin (BTC) for USD [U.S. dollars], RUB [Russian rubles], BYN [Belarusian rubles] at the optimal rate at the time of the transaction,” Whitebird’s website details, adding that “The service works online” and “the purchase and sale procedure takes place using Visa payment cards.” Belarusbank plans to add buying bitcoin with euros in the future.
Initially, the bank’s new cryptocurrency service is available to citizens of Belarus and Russia, local media conveyed, citing the press service of the bank. In the future, Belarusbank plans to extend the crypto service to customers in other countries. The bank also plans to collaborate further with Whitebird to support more cryptocurrencies and provide additional related services.