Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, plans to launch a blockchain-based financial platform as well as a stablecoin. Would Russia finally become crypto-friendly?
Sberbank launches its stablecoin
In Russia, Sberbank has just asked the country’s central bank for authorization to deploy a blockchain-based financial platform , as well as a stablecoin .
This platform and its stablecoin will be aimed at Sberbank partner companies, not individuals. The bank is also said to have taken this initiative in response to an increasingly growing demand from its employees.
It should be noted that the country’s central bank is the majority shareholder of Sberbank . In addition, many members of the government like German Gref and Anton Siluanov are on the supervisory board of SberBank. So many peculiarities that will undoubtedly help Sberbank’s request to succeed.
The largest bank in Russia today, Sberbank is also the third largest European banking institution in terms of capitalization. Sberbank’s press service told Coindesk :
“This stablecoin will allow companies to use smart contracts on Sberbank’s platform, based on the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain. Tokenizing material goods and cash on this platform will allow full automation of transactions.
This stablecoin will unsurprisingly be backed by the Russian ruble and should see the light of day in June 2021 at the latest.
A country yet hostile to cryptocurrencies
Will the upcoming arrival of Sberbank’s stablecoin reshuffle the cards in Russia? Indeed, the country has been rather hostile to cryptocurrencies for many years.
For example, retail investors are not allowed to buy more than $ 7,750 in cryptocurrency each year . A rather surprising measure which aims to prevent the flight of capital to these assets.
Another notable example is that investors who do not report their cryptocurrencies to the authorities are subject to very heavy penalties, such as fines and even prison terms in the most extreme cases .
However, one notable difference concerns Sberbank’s future stablecoin and cryptocurrencies in the government’s sights. As the bank is owned by the Russian state, the latter can fully control and monitor the development of its stablecoin.
Russia is working on a digital version of the ruble , like many other banks around the world with their local currency.
The authorities are therefore hostile towards cryptocurrencies over which they cannot control, such as Bitcoin (BTC) or other currencies issued by private companies.
At first glance, everything suggests that the arrival of Sberbank’s stablecoin will not be a game-changer for retail investors. The cryptocurrency industry in Russia will remain as closely watched as before.