After making inroads into both sides of the Atlantic and Asia, major cryptocurrency exchanges are shifting their focus to Eastern and Central Europe. The diverse region, which is still not completely tied to the EU, presents a world of opportunities for exchanges.
Eastern European crypto space
Cryptocurrencies have been growing steadily in the Eastern European region. In the last few years, several ICOs were launched here, leading to over 900 crypto companies being licensed in Estonia. Numerous local platforms have already made crypto buying and selling easier by creating fiat onboarding methods for the users.
One of the leading local platforms here is Exmo, which claims to be the largest in the region. It provides services in Turkish, Ukrainian, Russian and Romanian languages. Users can trade Russian ruble, euro, Turkish Lira, Polish Zloty and Ukrainian hryvnia for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin. It allows users to make payments with SEPA and credit cards. They could also make payments via Payeer, Qiwi, Yandex Money and Advcash alongside other payment processors.
Fiat options galore
Other platforms like Currency.com are also doubling down on their fiat onboarding strategy. The Belarusian exchange allows users to buy cryptocurrencies with euros, US dollars, Russian rubles, and Belarusian rubles. Interestingly, the company is allowed to offer exchange services under a presidential decree that focuses on the development of a digital economy.
Offshore platforms are also trying to gain entry into the market. One such exchange is Utorg, a UK-based crypto exchange that offers users a wide range of cryptocurrencies, tokens, and stablecoins and accepts the US dollars, Ukrainian hryvnia, and Russian ruble. They accept payments via bank cards, bank transfers and a variety of payment processors active in the region. Another website Bestchange.ru allows users to choose the cryptocurrency they want to trade, select a payment processor and get linked to dozens of crypto exchanges that could then process their transactions.
These platforms will have to face stiff competition from Huobi, the Singapore based exchange giant that is allowing users crypto transactions using bank transfers made in Russian rubles. All payments on the platform are routed through Uzbekistan based Infinbank, which has received regulatory approval from the authorities. Note that Uzbekistan is a crypto-friendly nation and introduced a new licensing regime for cryptocurrencies.
Binance also allows users to buy and sell cryptos using Russian ruble, Czech koruna, Romanian leu, Bulgarian lev, and Polish zloty.