Sberbank and Alfa-Bank, the two biggest banks in Russia, are planning to test cryptocurrency investment portfolios for private customers, according to a report in Kommersant, a local news source.
The service will be based on the six most reliable cryptocurrencies and will use algorithms to make investment decisions. According to the report, the banks are doing this because of interest from wealthy individual clients.
The minimum threshold for entry will be $500,000.
Anna Ivanchuk, deputy head of private banking at Sberbank, said: “We want to offer our clients a completely transparent version of the entrance to digital assets that fully meets the regulatory requirements that will allow them to invest in an interesting product in Russia.”
Anton Rakhmanov, managing director of Alfa-Bank’s private wealth management department, said: “Our goal is to accelerate the adoption of a decision on the recognition of the CFA investment assets and introduce them into the legal field as quickly as possible.”
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The two portfolios are called Perceptron R and Perceptron RQ, and they will be tested in the central bank’s regulatory sandbox – a closed testing environment where financial technology can be developed without fear of breaking the law. The portfolios being managed by algorithms was a requirement of the two banks because algorithms are self-adjusting and have worked well with traditional financial assets, according to Alexei Prokofiev, chairman of the working group behind the new project.
Prokofiev is also the CEO of AddCapital, an investment fund which is one of the entities behind the project.
He added that trading would be carried out only on regulated cryptocurrency exchanges such as Bitstamp and Kraken, and the portfolio will be reviewed once every quarter.
“The client actually receives a fund unit. The assets of the fund are stored using custody solutions and audited by the Group IB cybersecurity. The unit is liquid, it is possible to request a withdrawal to the currency of the client at any time,” he said.
The pilot should take a maximum of 45 days, according to the press service of the financial regulator.
We last reported on Russia when a resident of the city Tobolsk was blocked from importing Bitcoin mining equipment. He told the authorities that it was for solving mathematical and scientific equations, but the city wasn’t having it, telling him that he needed to acquire a number of additional permits.