Sber, the largest banking institution in Russia, continues progressing with the development of its blockchain-based platform for issuing 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.
According to the executive, Sber is actively cooperating with the Russian central bank regarding functionalities and requirements for its upcoming digital asset product. Sber has recently sent an updated application for the platform to the Bank of Russia, following some feedback from the institution, Popov said.
Sber is the largest banking and financial institution in Russia and one of the world’s biggest public companies, ranking 51st on Forbes’ Global 2000 list this year. Formerly known as Sberbank, the state-owned company last year rebranded to “Sber” to show the company’s commitment to dive into digital services and become a technology leader rather than a pure banking institution. According to local reports, Sber has invested about $1 billion in its digital ecosystem in the first half of 2021.
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As part of the company’s move into digital services, Sber has been actively striving to launch digital asset-related services and its own digital assets. Earlier this year, the company applied with the Bank of Russia to launch a blockchain platform for its own stablecoin, known as Sbercoin, but thus far, the central bank has been strongly opposed to private firms offering stablecoins pegged to the Russian ruble.
Sber has maintained a negative stance on private cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), echoing a similar approach by the country’s central bank. In June, Sberbank CEO Herman Gref argued that digital currencies like Bitcoin are the riskiest type of investment alongside the equity market.