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As Russia’s largest banking and financial institution and one of the world’s largest publicly traded enterprises, Sber’s foray into digital assets is noteworthy.
Sber, Russia’s largest banking institution, is continuing to develop its blockchain-based platform for producing digital assets.
Anatoly Popov, deputy chairman of the executive board at Sber, said that the bank is planning to have registered its digital asset issuance platform with the Bank of Russia — the country’s central bank — by mid-September, local news agency TASS reported on Thursday.
Popov said that Sber has started building functionalities to allows third parties to issue digital assets and expects to have rolled out this feature by the end of the year. At the time being, the bank is focused on issuance and management of Sber’s own digital financial assets, he added.
Sber, according to the CEO, is actively collaborating with the Russian central bank on the functions and requirements for its planned digital asset offering. Following input from the Bank of Russia, Sber recently sent an amended application for the platform to the institution, according to Popov.
Sber is Russia’s largest banking and financial organisation, as well as one of the world’s largest publicly traded corporations, ranked 51st on Forbes’ Global 2000 list this year. Formerly known as Sberbank, the state-owned corporation renamed to “Sber” last year to reflect the company’s aim to diversify into digital services and become a technology leader rather than just a banking institution. According to local media, Sber would invest approximately $1 billion in its digital ecosystem in the first half of 2021.
Sber has been aggressively working to establish digital asset-related services and its own digital assets as part of the company’s transition into digital services. Earlier this year, the company appealed to the Bank of Russia to develop a blockchain platform for its own stablecoin, Sbercoin, but the central bank has been vehemently hostile to private firms offering stablecoins pegged to the Russian rouble thus far.
Sber has maintained a negative attitude on private cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), matching the country’s central bank’s stance. Sberbank CEO Herman Gref claimed in June that digital currencies like Bitcoin, together with the equity market, are the riskiest sort of investing.