Belarus, a former Soviet republic that legalized cryptocurrencies in late 2017, has finally launched its first legitimate crypto exchange. The venture is projected to generate $70 million USD in profits in 2019.
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Belarus Crypto Exchange Opens the Nation’s Door to Digital Assets
Investment in the Minsk-based exchange, called Currency.com, comes from local local IT tycoon Viktor Prokopenya, the owner of VP Capital, and Russian entrepreneur Said Gutseriyev, head of Larnabel Ventures, with the two partners providing a total of $10 million.
The founders of Currency.com said the project has “excellent prospects” and is focused on tokenized securities as well as cryptocurrencies.
They expect Currency.com to benefit from providing crypto investors with tokenized versions of traditional financial instruments and a legal gateway between fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies, forecasting a profit of $70 million in the first year of operations.
Can Currency.com put Belarus on the map in the cryptoeconomy?
Belarus was one of the first countries of the former Soviet Union to adopt national crypto-friendly legislation. In December 2017, the country’s president Alexander Lukashenko signed a decree legalizing cryptocurrencies, crypto-mining, and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).
The move, which was supposed to improve the country’s chances in the global digital race, was met by many with skepticism. Although the country has a relatively well-developed and profitable IT sector, its heavily state-controlled economy and authoritarian political regime had largely discouraged Belarus’s integration into the global crypto space.
The first year since the enactment of the crypto legislation turned out to be rather uneventful.
However, the launch of Currency.com could come as a push for Belarus’s crypto economy, making it a leading crypto country at least in the Eurasian Economic Union, an economic bloc formed by several former republics of the USSR. The union’s other members, including Russia, have made a considerably slower progress towards legalizing crypto than Belarus.
What Can Users Expect?
Currency.com will support trading with U.S. dollars, euros, Belarusian and Russian rubles, bitcoin and ether, as well as tokenized commodities and stock.
Initially, the exchange will only support bitcoin and ether to prevent any illegal transactions, as the founders promise substantial anti-money laundering measures.
Currency.com won’t support privacy cryptocurrencies, such as Monero, Prokopenya was quoted as saying by the Russian daily RBC, adding that Belarus has anti-money laundering standards that are “in line with best global practices, including recommendations from [the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering] FATF.”
What’s your take? Is the new Belarus crypto exchange a sign that nations both big and small are no longer able to ignore digital assets? Let us know in the comments section below.
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