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Russia’s biggest bank, Sberbank, to allow trading of digital assets in June

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From June, Sberbank, the biggest bank in Russia, will allow accredited private investors to trade using digital financial assets (DFA).

Sberbank to allow trading of DFAs in Russia

According to local reports, Sberbank will allow clients to transact using DFA on its platform.

However, it should be noted that this offering was slated for the end of Q1 2023 before being postponed to this month.

Through this service, Anatoly Popov, the Deputy Chairman of the Board of the Bank, said users would be free to trade using DFA, even exchanging them for cash. 

In a translated version of the original posting, Popov said:

“If we talk about individuals, then in the second quarter, we believe, in June, this function will open for individuals. Individuals will have the opportunity to buy digital financial assets and sell them. Accordingly, change for cash.”

The precise time for this service’s launch is yet to be determined. 

The DFA issuance, accounting, and circulation rely on the blockchain. Sberbank’s proprietary blockchain, as per earlier details, will allow the deployment of smart contracts and is compatible with Ethereum, a smart contracts platform. 

Konstantin Klimenko, while commenting, said their goal is to create a solution that will facilitate decentralized finance (DeFi) operations in Russia.

Speed hampered by approvals

In April 2022, the bank received the green light to launch a platform for issuing and circulating DFA. 

Thus far, Popov explained, they have tens of billions of rubles in issues. The largest borrowers should connect to their DFA issuance and circulation platform in the coming weeks.

In 2021, Sberbank sought approval from Russian authorities to launch its stablecoin. Despite the opposition from the Russian central bank, which has been reluctant to permit the launching of private cryptocurrencies, Sberbank continues to develop its platform. 

Considering Sberbank’s position in the financial landscape in Russia and its extensive client base, its influence and recent development hint at a possible shift in the Bank of Russia’s previous stance on cryptocurrencies.

Besides Sberbank, Alfa Bank, a private bank in Russia, has been permitted to issue digital assets. Other approved financial institutions include Lighthouse, a Fintech company; and Atomyze, a tokenization platform backed by the Russian Federation.

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