Russia’s Central Bank authorizing Sberbank to issue crypto assets

Russia’s Central Bank authorizing Sberbank to issue crypto assets

Marielle Petere

Mar. 18, 2022 | ECONOMY

Russia’s Central Bank authorizing Sberbank to issue crypto assets

The largest bank in Russia, Sberbank, is now authorized to issue digital assets to clients.

Russia’s Central Bank authorizing Sberbank to issue crypto assets

Russia’s Central Bank released a license to Sberbank on Thursday, permitting the country’s largest lender to issue digital assets such as cryptocurrency. 

Amid the Russia-Ukraine war, Sberbank and Russia’s financial firms are seeing the green light to set foot in the cryptocurrency ecosystem as the central bank has changed its stance against digital assets.

Sberbank attempting to the crypto market

Sberbank has been planning to venture into the crypto market since 2020 by launching its cryptocurrency—Sbercoin—partnering with JPMorgan. 

However, JPMorgan and other leading investment banks have been relocating out of the country amid international sanctions due to the escalating tension in Ukraine versus Russia since February 24. 

Last year, Russian regulators wanted to ban cryptocurrencies. The central bank previously viewed cryptocurrencies as a “threat to financial stability.”

Several reports noted that the banks in Russia are struggling due to western sanctions, and Sberbank lost above 95% of its value on the London Stock Exchange. Investors are speculating about the possible value when trading resumes. 

But then, the Central Bank of Russia has to compromise and take notice of President Vladimir Putin’s instruction to work with the Finance Ministry in legalizing cryptocurrency through developing a formal regulatory framework.

Russia’s Central Bank welcoming digital assets

According to the Sberbank’s statement, the central bank’s decision would allow Russian businesses to mint digital assets and “invest their currently idle funds to generate income.” 

“We are just starting our work with digital assets, realizing that further development requires adaptation of the current regulatory framework,” Sberbank stated. 

“To do that, we are ready to work closely with the regulator and executive bodies,” the bank added. “Companies will be able to make their first transaction on our blockchain platform one month from now.”

Meanwhile, the pivot of a decision by the central bank of Russia shows positive signs for crypto investors and traders. 

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