Sberbank, the largest Russian state-owned lender, has applied to the country’s central bank seeking approval for launching a blockchain-based platform that will allow the bank to launch its own digital currency.
As reported by local news outlet Interfax, the application was filed in early January, and, if the lender receives the regulator’s green light without any hurdles, it is planning to launch the decentralized platform by spring.
“Technologically, the bank is ready to work with such fiat currency, we have tested it inside and saw that this solution works,” Sberbank’s Deputy Chairman, Anatoly Popov, said.
The registration process takes 45 days, and the regulator will either approve the application or will ask for comments within the timeframe.
Banks Launching Crypto
The Russian bank’s jump into blockchain did not come as a surprise, as it already revealed its plans to come up with a digital currency last year. Finance Magnates earlier reported on Sberbank’s partnership with JP Morgan for experimenting with its digital currency. However, the details and tentative timeline on that pilot were not clear then.
“There is one more issue that has not yet been fully resolved – the issue of taxation of digital financial assets (IF), but we hope that it will become clearer. The simplest use of savings – This is a digital bill,” a Sberbank manager said.
The cryptocurrency laws in Russia are taking shape as the country legally started to see them as property. However, the government wants to curb the retail distribution of crypto and wants to track citizens’ digital currency holdings.
Meanwhile, the Russian Central Bank proposed a draft for issuing digital rubles earlier this year, considering it a third form of money.