Two Russia’s Largest Banks to Offer Crypt-based Funds for Retail Investors

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Two Russian Banks are Testing Cryptocurrency based Investment Option for Retail Investors

As per local media outlet Kommersant, two Russian biggest banks are testing digital currency-based investment option for investors.

As part of the Russian central bank’s ‘regulatory sandbox,’ Alfa-Bank and Sberbank opted to start experimenting with products based on so-called “digital financial assets” at a meeting last Wednesday, as per the publication.

Those assets will, in fact, take the form of six digital currencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash which will form an investment portfolio.

The move comes as Russia plans to enact binding laws governing digital currencies and blockchain, which will see crypto becoming formally defined, legalized investment assets under Russian law.

Kommersant cites Sberbank’s deputy head of private banking Anna Ivanchuk as stating:

“We want to offer our customers a completely transparent entry point for digital assets, fully in compliance with regulatory requirements and which enables investment within Russia in a product that interests them.”

The news investment product will reportedly enable the customer to withdraw to fiat at will, with crypto assets being under the control pf partner Group IB through bespoke “custody solutions.”

“The customer in actual fact receives a share of the fund,” Alexey Prokofiev of AddCapital, another partner in the scheme, summarized.

Russia’s slow and at times unpredictable official position on digital currencies has led banks to remain hawkish on the integration of related technologies beyond blockchain experimentation until this year. In late January, Sberbank declared that it was opening a crypto exchange option for institutional investors via its Swiss branch.

Mr. Herman Gref, Sberbank’s outspoken, usually pro-crypto president, continued the tone on digital currencies themselves this month, Telling Kommersant June 8:

“I don’t buy digital currency anymore, and I wouldn’t advise doing so to anyone who does not like playing at a casino.”

Suzat Fernandes

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