- Sber, Russia’s largest bank, enables retail investors to access digital financial assets (DFA) on its platform, following new regulations introduced in 2021 covering tokenized traditional assets.
- Along with providing access to tokenized assets, Sberbank has its sights set on decentralized finance (DeFi), laying the groundwork for an open platform where developers can deploy smart contracts and new products.
Following the advent of regulations in Russia regarding tokenized traditional and real-world assets in 2021, Sber, the country’s largest bank, is set to extend access to digital financial assets (DFAs) on its platform to retail investors. Notably, these regulations don’t cover cryptocurrencies.
Anatoly Popov, Sber Deputy Chairman, highlighted that there have already been billions in terms of issued amount and around 30 issues, which is equivalent to approximately $12 million. He anticipates major borrowers joining the platform to issue tens of billions of rubles in debt, translating to over a hundred million dollars.
To guide individual investors, Sberbank has designed an investment scoring system that incorporates an evaluation of the issuer’s quality. The system aims to attract additional liquidity to the platform from retail investors.
The bank embarked on its DFA journey in July of the previous year, issuing its first DFA, a collection of factored invoices. This year, it introduced the bank’s first tokenized gold assets.
In the wider Russian financial ecosystem, Sberbank is one of the first five DFA licensees alongside Atomyze and fintech Lighthouse, both operated by miner Norlisk. This year, Alfa Bank and Masterchain, a blockchain network run by the FinTech Association, joined the DFA licensees.
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The development doesn’t stop at DFAs for Sber. Before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the bank shared its plan to delve into decentralized finance (DeFi), intending to create a platform for developers to deploy smart contracts and innovative products.
In line with this objective, Sber unveiled its Ethereum-based blockchain platform in a testing phase at the end of May for developers within its ComUnity ecosystem. While it has compatibility with Ethereum, it is not based on public Ethereum at present. The platform encourages smart contract development and token issuance.
Simultaneously, Sber launched a hackathon, hinting at a future connection to public blockchains. The sample applications, like an automatic market maker, integration with a non-blockchain application platform, an open blockchain platform bridge, and a wallet for issuing Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), provide a glimpse into this future.
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