Russia’s Largest Bank Plans to Issue Digital Currency Next Year

Sberbank tied with JP Morgan for the digital currency launch.

Russia’s largest state-owned lender, Sberbank, is gearing up towards crypto as the bank is planning to launch its own digital currency next year, its Chief Executive, Herman Gref revealed.

The proposal for launching Sbercoin is now new as the bank already unveiled its intentions to launch the digital currency earlier this year. 

The Russian bank is collaborating with JP Morgan to first launch the proprietary digital currency as an experiment. Though there is a tentative timeline for the test launch for next year, it is not clear if the bank will proceed further with the initiative.

Going Digital

Additionally, the lender is said to be preparing for the launch of a platform, which will allow the users to buy digital financial assets, local media RBC reported recently.

Sberbank is also proposing to make all non-cash rubles digital and has developed its own model for the issuance and circulation of the digital ruble.

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The Russian Central Bank proposed a draft for issuing digital rubles earlier this year, considering it a third form of money. However, Sberbank’s proposal differs from the monetary regulator’s vision for a digital fiat.

The lender wants to add a tracking number on each digital ruble and wants to settle payments under smart contracts, which, according to it, will solve the problems of fund misappropriation. These individual attributions will allow the commercial banks to maintain the account for non-cash digital currencies.

“We propose to give an opportunity to tokenize all non-cash rubles according to the uniform rules established by the Central Bank,” a pitch by Sberbank Chairman, Anatoly Popov noted.

Though the Russin regulator is planning for a digital fiat, a law, which will be effective from next year, will ban the usage of cryptocurrencies for payments. However, the law defines cryptocurrencies as ‘property’.

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