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The countries of Central and Eastern Europe, a diverse region sometimes referred to as the ‘Second World,’ are at different stages of their economic development and political integration with the EU or other supranational organizations. Having less established traditional sectors, looser regulations and weaker associations creates better conditions for new industries to develop there. Along with local crypto exchanges, global trading platforms have been turning their attention to Eastern Europe, catering to the needs of its population by introducing new options to buy and sell coins with local fiat currencies.
Also read: Utorg Exchange Grants Access to Traders With Limited Verification
Crypto Platforms Targeting Eastern European Traders
The crypto space in the region has been expanding in the last few years with more ICO projects originating from Moscow than Silicon Valley at one point during the token sale boom, with over 900 crypto companies licensed in Estonia, and fivefold as many Turks than Germans owning digital coins. Crypto trading has been flourishing as well with numerous local platforms and established players now offering Eastern Europeans easy access to crypto markets. Having the opportunity to buy and sell cryptocurrencies using local fiat money and popular payment methods is undoubtedly convenient.
A leading trading platform in the area is Exmo. The crypto exchange advertises itself as the largest in Eastern Europe. Its website is accessible in a number of languages spoken in the region, including Russian, Ukrainian, Romanian, and Turkish. Exmo offers residents of these and other countries trading pairs with many leading cryptocurrencies such as BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, and local fiat currencies like the euro, Russian ruble, Ukrainian hryvnia, Polish zloty, and Turkish lira. It supports popular payment methods including major credit cards, SEPA transfers, and payment processors such as Advcash, Yandex Money, Qiwi, and Payeer.
Currency.com puts another fiat option on the table. Since the exchange is based in Belarus, one of Europe’s crypto-friendly nations, it allows users to trade major cryptocurrencies with Belarusian rubles, beside Russian rubles, U.S. dollars and euros. Currency Com Bel LLC, the entity that owns the platform, is authorized to provide exchange services under the presidential decree “On the development of the digital economy,” which entered into force in March 2018. Crypto platform operators are registered residents of the High Technologies Park in Minsk.
New platforms are also entering the region’s market, such as Utorg which is another U.K.-headquartered crypto exchange targeting Eastern Europe. It was founded last year and its users can currently trade several leading cryptos, stablecoins and tokens with three fiat currencies, the Russian ruble, Ukrainian hryvnia and U.S. dollar. The exchange supports payments via a wide range of service providers available in the region. Traders can use ordinary bank transfers, major bank cards such as Visa and Mastercard as well as Russian Mir cards, and also payment processors like Qiwi, Yandex Money, Webmoney, Advcash, Payeer, and Capitalist.
For those Eastern European countries that are not part of the European Union, like the Russian Federation, Ukraine and other neighboring former Soviet nations, multiple alternatives exist. A website called Bestchange.ru lists a number of options to buy and sell cryptocurrencies using payment methods based on local fiat currencies. All you need to do is choose a cryptocurrency you want to purchase or trade and a preferred payment processor. Bestchange will then link you to dozens of platforms, including small online exchangers, which support the desired transaction.
Global Exchanges Turn to Eastern European Markets
Eastern Europe has gradually attracted interest from global players in the digital asset trading business. Singapore-based Huobi, for example, accepts Russian rubles through regular bank transfers since December. The deposit transactions are processed via Infinbank, a financial institution based in Uzbekistan where HBRU CIS, the entity running Huobi Russia, has managed to secure approval from the country’s authorities. The Central Asian republic legalized crypto trading and introduced a licensing regime for exchanges in 2018.
Binance, the world’s leading crypto exchange, also supports purchases and sales of cryptocurrency using the Russian ruble (RUB). Rubles can be deposited and withdrawn through Advcash using the payment processor’s wallet or linked bank cards. The platform recently added several other fiat gateways for the region’s residents: Czech koruna (CZK), Bulgarian lev (BGN), Romanian leu (RON), and Polish zloty (PLN). Users of these currencies can now bind their Visa cards and purchase cryptos like BTC, ETH, XRP, and the platform’s own token, BNB.
The Binance move and the expansion of exchange services tailored to meet the needs of Eastern Europeans in general represent another indication of the region’s growing importance in the crypto space. Besides established trading venues that provide traditional intermediary and custodial services, peer-to-peer exchange remains a viable and globally accessible option as well, thanks to platforms such as local.Bitcoin.com. The P2P exchange allows users to buy and sell bitcoin cash (BCH) in a non-custodial manner and they are free to create trades with any payment method.
What other crypto exchanges targeting markets in Eastern Europe do you know of? Tell us in the comments section below.
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Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Exmo, Currency.com, Huobi.
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