Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank and lender, has launched its blockchain-based digital asset platform. Sber executed a one billion ruble (about $16 million) digital financial asset issuance with its subsidiary SberFactoring as the platform’s first transaction on July 9.
The transaction has a duration of three months. In a Press releasedeputy chairman of the board of directors of the partly state-owned bank Anatoly Popov, revealed that the feat was made possible thanks to the close cooperation of many divisions of the bank with the Central Bank of Russia (CBR).
Research conducted by Sber’s Blockchain Laboratory, founded in 2018, is also coming to fruition as it is translated into industrial commercial solutions, he noted. Popov added that the platform speeds up and simplifies the process of issuing digital financial assets.
“We believe our platform has good prospects, as the digital format significantly speeds up and simplifies the process of issuing financial instruments and lowers the threshold for market entry,” he said.
Smart contracts allowed the blockchain-based platform to run in pilot mode for some users, but would soon be available to all enterprise customers. Sber also plans to introduce more financial instruments, including digital currencies, to the platform.
Sber first announced plans to launch the platform in June. Sber received its digital asset platform license from the CBR in March. The bank, however, has been planning to launch a digital asset platform since last year.
Russia’s Regulatory Clarity on Digital Assets Makes Blockchain Adoption Possible
Sber is not the only Russian bank to have launched its digital financial asset platform. Reuters reported In June, VTB, Russia’s second-largest bank, completed the country’s first cash-backed digital financial asset transaction with fintech firm Lighthouse.
The CBR has also granted several other institutions, including Atomyze Russia and Promsvyazbank (PSB), digital asset platform operator licenses. The development is a departure from the CBR’s former strong opposition to the adoption of digital assets due to financial stability concerns.
Along with the CBR’s shift, Russia has sought to bring digital assets and blockchain technology into its regulatory fold by introducing several digital asset-focused bills.
In a similar recent development, the Russian AML/CFT regulator, Rosfinmonitoring declared that it was working to improve its ability to track digital asset transactions to enable the tracking of blockchains and currently hidden transactions.
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