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Russia's Sberbank Begins Digital Financial Asset Transactions

John Galt

Updated: July 12, 2022

russia digital asset
Editor’s Note:

EDITOR'S NOTE: Russia’s Sberbank just executed its first digital asset transaction—a 1 billion issuance with a 3-month maturity—on its own blockchain-based platform over the weekend. It’s interesting to see one of the most heavily-sanctioned countries pull off innovation in the very domain of its sanction. Yet, necessity can be a powerful incubator. This makes us reflect on the two worlds of digital assets before us. One is represented by the collapse of institutions like 3AC, and the other points to the Federal Reserve’s notes on CBDC development. Both offer innovative features that are both practical and, given the context, strangely necessary. Yet each comes with a terminal bargain whose landscape, however promising or appealing, comes not without a certain apparatus of capture. It may be productive for a despotic regime, but it’s toxic for a state that still values privacy and freedom. How will Russia’s move play a role in the future of cross-border trade, and how might its gold reserves play into its strategy of monetary consolidation against the west (think: EAEU)? Not sure. But the overall tenor of mainstream American financial thought seems to fall short on both ends, whether we’re talking intrinsic value or blockchain applications. And that’s where the US falls behind; not necessarily in financial technologies but in the thinking that seems to drive it aimlessly forward.

MOSCOW, July 9 (Reuters) - Russia's dominant lender Sberbank (SBER.MM) on Saturday said it had carried out the first digital financial asset transaction on its own platform, with its subsidiary SberFactoring executing a 1-billion rouble ($16 million) issue with three-month maturity.

The Bank of Russia has long voiced scepticism over cryptocurrencies, but is more open to other digital assets and gave blockchain platform Atomyze Russia the first licence to exchange digital assets.

No.2 lender VTB (VTBR.MM) and fintech company Lighthouse carried out the country's first cash-backed digital financial asset transaction in late June. read more

Sberbank, which received its licence in March, said in a statement that digital assets are issued on its platform using blockchain technology and smart contracts.

Sberbank's platform will soon be available to all the bank's corporate clients, it said.

Russia is working on improving its monitoring of cryptocurrency transactions and may begin introducing regulation of the industry later this year, officials said this week. read more

($1 = 62.4000 roubles)

Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Christina Fincher

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Originally published on Reuters.

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