Sberbank Executive Touts Blockchain for Russia

An official at Russia’s biggest bank, Sberbank, has proposed that the use of blockchain technology is the direction in which the nation should go in order to overcome the present settlement challenges it is facing. Alexander Vedyakhin, who serves as the first deputy chairman of Sberbank, is of the opinion that blockchain technology has developed considerably over the past few years and now provides new capabilities. These new capabilities may make it possible for Russia to develop payment systems that are more effective.

At the conference, Vedyakhin stressed the significance of blockchain technology in resolving Russia’s current settlement challenges. He said that the technology offers the possibility of a road to payment systems that are more effective. In addition to this, he pointed out that the technology has advanced substantially over the last few years, which has resulted in the creation of brand new avenues for its use.

The statements made by Vedyakhin come at a time when Russia is investigating a variety of options to upgrade its financial infrastructure and lessen its dependence on conventional banking systems. The blockchain technology, which is both decentralized and transparent in nature, may play a significant part in the accomplishment of these objectives.

The Russian government has previously indicated that it is interested in the creation of blockchain technology as well as its implementation. In the year 2020, Russia passed a legislation that regulated digital financial assets. This law established a regulatory framework for the usage of cryptocurrencies and other forms of digital assets across the nation. In addition, the Russian Central Bank has been doing extensive study into the feasibility of issuing a digital ruble, also known as a central bank digital currency (CBDC), which has the potential to enhance the effectiveness as well as the safety of the country’s various payment systems.

The fact that Russia’s biggest bank, Sberbank, has signaled its support for blockchain technology lends more credence to the idea that the technology might fundamentally alter the nature of the financial system in Russia. It is probable that blockchain technology will continue to see more acceptance as more financial institutions and governments throughout the globe understand the advantages of the technology. This will result in the creation of new possibilities for innovation as well as increased financial efficiency.


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Russia largest bank is moving forward with the plan

Sberbank, the biggest bank in Russia, is pushing ahead with the plan to deploy its decentralised financing (DeFi) platform. The bank is now getting ready to test out the product within the next few months.

The head of Sberbank’s Blockchain Lab, Konstantin Klimenko, said on February 3 that the financial institution anticipates beginning open trials of its DeFi platform by May 2023. This information was published by the regional news outlet Interfax.

According to Klimenko, the new DeFi platform from Sberbank is now undergoing testing in a private beta phase. By the end of April, the platform will be completely open, allowing users to engage in the first commercial transactions.

The CEO said that the blockchain platform would be compatible with the Ethereum blockchain. This will enable users to transfer their assets using significant wallets, such as MetaMask, which was mentioned in the previous sentence. Klimenko also said that users would have the ability to move their assets from other platforms to this one.

The blockchain executive noted that Sberbank’s DeFi platform is working toward the goal of becoming a leading participant in the DeFi ecosystem in Russia. In addition to this, he was positive about the potential of decentralised finance systems to supplant the conventional financial services market.

This news is in keeping with Sberbank’s previously revealed intentions to permit DeFi apps on the bank’s infrastructure, therefore it makes sense that the bank would make this announcement now. Sberbank made the announcement in November 2022 that its proprietary blockchain technology will soon be compatible with smart contracts and apps running on the Ethereum network. This was one of the new features that was introduced.

It is not obvious how the future platform is going to be controlled, which may be due to the fact that Russia has not yet developed any regulations regarding digital money. Anatoly Aksakov, the chairman of the Duma’s Committee on Financial Market, claims that Russia would “certainly” implement cryptocurrency legislation in the year 2023.

According to earlier reports, Sberbank had a difficult time launching several blockchain products over the last few years since the Russian central bank repeatedly delayed their registration. Sberbank had anticipated launching its digital asset issuance platform in 2021, but it did not gain clearance from the Bank of Russia until the spring of 2022. The Russian government owns 50% plus one share of Sberbank, making it the institution’s largest stakeholder.

On February 2, Alfa Bank, which is one of the largest private banks in Russia, was granted permission to issue digital assets, joining Sberbank, the state-backed tokenization platform Atomyze, and the fintech company Lighthouse. Sberbank was the first financial institution in the country to be granted this permission.


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Sber Bank’s blockchain technology uses Metamask


By linking its blockchain platform with the Ethereum blockchain, the biggest bank in Russia is expanding its operations into the decentralized finance and web 3 industries.

Sber, the bank that was once known as Sberbank and is now Russia’s biggest financial institution, is continuing to improve its blockchain platform by merging it with the Ethereum blockchain.

On November 30, Sber made an official announcement on new potential for its proprietary blockchain technology. One of these chances is interoperability with apps and smart contracts that run on the Ethereum network.

According to the bank, this would make it possible for programmers to transfer smart contracts and whole projects between Sber’s blockchain and public blockchain networks.

The most recent updates to Sber include an interaction with a significant software cryptocurrency wallet known as MetaMask. This wallet is used for interacting with the Ethereum network.

According to the release, the connection enables users to do activities using tokens and smart contracts that have been deposited on the blockchain network operated by Sber.

He made the point that the newly integrated features would assist Sber in uniting developers, enterprises, and financial institutions in order to investigate the practical commercial uses of blockchain, Web3, and decentralized finance.

According to earlier reports, Sberbank has been working hard to create blockchain products over the last several years and has just submitted an application to the Bank of Russia in order to build a blockchain platform for its “Sbercoin” stablecoin in the early part of 2021.

Sber delayed the announcement of its first digital currency transaction until June 2022, after getting authorisation from the central bank in the spring of 2022.

The Russian government owns 50% plus one share in Sber, making it the company’s largest stakeholder.

The proposal made by Sber came not long after Russian President Vladimir Putin made a demand for an open network of settlements based on blockchain technology.

At the same time, Putin’s administration does not let its residents to use cryptocurrencies as a form of payment, and it has plans to implement a complete ban on payments made using bitcoin beginning in early 2020.

Late in the month of November, legislators in Russia debated the possibility of making legislation adjustments in order for the government to operate a national cryptocurrency exchange.


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Russian Sberbank Conducts First Digital Asset Trade on its Blockchain Platform

Sberbank, a Russian majority state-owned bank, announced on Saturday that it has conducted the first digital financial asset transaction on its own platform. 

The lender said that through the use of its smart contract-based blockchain platform launched in March, it has carried out the first transaction, with its subsidiary, Sber Factoring, executing a 1 billion rouble (about $16 million) whose issuance is set to mature in the next three months.

Sber plans to issue and circulate cryptocurrencies and other digital assets on the platform, which has been built with blockchain technologies. 

Sberbank disclosed that its blockchain platform is currently conducting a pilot project for a limited number of users. The bank intends to allow its all corporate clients to access trading of digital assets as well as other types of financial assets on the platform later this year.

Anatoly Popov, the Deputy Chairman of the board of Sberbank, commented about the development: “The launch of the platform and our obtaining the status of an operator is the result of the teamwork of many divisions of our bank in close cooperation with the Bank of Russia.”

Mr. Popov further disclosed that the research carried out by Sberbank’s blockchain laboratory since 2018, is now being applied into industrial business solutions. “We believe that our platform has good prospects since the digital format significantly speeds up and simplifies the process of issuing financial instruments and lowers the threshold for entering the market,” the executive stated.

Sberbank also plans to allow other firms to use its blockchain platform to issue their own digital assets, under applicable regulations in the Russian Federation.

Authorities Expanding Digital Assets Support

The announcement by Sber comes after the state-owned bank was given authorization by the Central Bank of Russia to issue digital financial assets.

Sberbank obtained approval from the bank of Russia to launch the blockchain platform in March. The bank was also added to the Central Bank’s registry information system and granted to issue digital assets.

In September last year, Sber applied to be included in the Central Bank’s register of information systems operators.

Amidst international sanctions that have targeted the core of Russia’s financial system, the nation has been opening up to more innovations of digital currencies.

Since February, the Bank of Russia has approved more than five companies to adopt blockchain technology, including Promsvyazbank (PSB), VTB Bank (VTB), Sberbank, Lighthouse, and Atomyze Russia.

Last month, VTB Factoring, a subsidiary of VTB Bank – Russia’s second-biggest bank – conducted its first cash-backed digital financial asset transaction through collaboration with the fintech firm Lighthouse.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Owner of Russian bank Tinkoff acquires Swiss digital asset firm

TCS Group, the owner of the major private Russian bank Tinkoff, is gaining exposure to digital assets.

The firm has invested in Swiss digital asset service provider Aximetria, which is set to become the company’s first major crypto-related outfit, local news agency The Bell reported Wednesday.

Citing data from Aximetria, the report suggests that TCS purchased 4,449 Aximetria shares worth 100 Swiss francs ($108) per share. Given that Aximetria’s total share capital was about 535,000 francs ($578,000), the publication reported TCS’ stake to be around 83.2%.

A spokesperson for Tinkoff confirmed the news to Cointelegraph, stating that Aximetria will be “part of the international expansion of Tinkoff Group in compliance with all the requirements of the jurisdictions of international presence.”

The representative emphasized that Aximetria is “not a crypto exchange” but rather a “financial service in the digital asset industry.”

At the time of writing, Aximetria’s main page includes details on the firm being part of TCS. Aximetria lets users open a “Swiss crypto account” with free deposits and withdrawals in euros or U.S. dollars. The platform says it targets clients worldwide.

Source: Aximetria

Amid skyrocketing demand for crypto investments, Tinkoff has been struggling to offer crypto investment services in Russia as the Bank of Russia reportedly stopped the company from launching its own suite of related services. This led to a situation where Russia has no single legal company that is based in the country and offers crypto investment.

The central bank is known for its hostility to the crypto industry and Bitcoin (BTC). However, it reportedly wants to allow people to invest in crypto investment using foreign platforms.

Related: Russia’s largest bank struggles to register its digital asset platform

Despite the ongoing harsh stance of local regulators, Russia’s largest bank, Sber, launched a crypto exchange-traded fund in December, tracking major crypto investment firms and exchanges like Coinbase and Galaxy Digital. Formerly known as Sberbank, the state-backed firm was previously planning to launch a crypto exchange business under its Sberbank Switzerland subsidiary back in 2018.