Leading Russian Lender Sberbank has indicated that it is about to release its own crypto asset and will attempt to launch a blockchain-based platform that will allow its customers to buy digital financial assets.
The token will be called Sbercoin, and Herman Gref, president of Sberbank, said his company works with the American investment bank JPMorgan Chase and a number of other foreign partners to test the new platform. Per a report from the industry news site Banki.ru.
Gref did not confirm the launch of the token per se, but refused to rule out that Sberbank would start “experimenting with issuing” Sbercoin in 2021.
Per Interfax, Gref also stated that the new platform would “provide services for buying digital financial assets”.
The announcement by Sberbank shows that the country’s decision-makers are increasingly finding support to legalize some forms of state-controlled cryptoassets in order to enter the market and meet the growing demand for crypto in Russia.
The Central bank is the founder and majority shareholder of Sberbank, which according to its own information has around 96.9 million active private customers and 2.6 million corporate customers on the Russian market.
The Russian State Duma passed its first crypto legislation in July, but has been repeatedly criticized. Industry observers warn that the law contains vague and incomplete definitions of key terms like “digital assets”, with further legal action also in the pipelines.
Meanwhile, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin recently announced that the country’s authorities could recognize digital assets as property so that their owners can protect their interests in court.
Sberbank and JPMorgan have a relationship that dates back to 1993. Among other things, the American bank of Sberbank offers USD trade settlements and euro treasury settlements, while the Russian partner acts as the RUB clearing provider for JPMorgan.
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