Sberbank, Russia’s Largest Bank To Launch Ethereum Platform In April
Move will see Sberbank take the global lead in blockchain finance
By Paul Goncharoff
Sberbank, the largest bank in Russia and the third largest in Europe, has let the cat out of the bag and announced it is preparing to launch its Ethereum-compatible DeFi platform in April this year. If this happens as planned, Sberbank will then take the global lead in blockchain banking. It will also make many aspects of the West’s sanctions far less effective, while in addition to giving better service to commercial entities worldwide.
This indicates that global multipolarity is not the sole political view from Moscow, but financial multipolarity is also strongly apparent in view of Russia’s trade efforts using national currencies, and the vision of ways to trade in each country’s sovereign coin and/or evolving Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC).
ETH, “Ether,” or “Ethereum” is the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum network and is used to facilitate transactions on the Ethereum blockchain. As currently understood, Sberbank plans to issue its ERC20 token, which is the protocol standard for creating Ethereum-based tokens utilized and deployed in the Ethereum network.
The goal, according to Mr. K. Klimenko, the director of the blockchain lab at Sberbank is to make Russia’s DeFi ecosystem simply “number one”. The platform will be compatible with Ethereum, and users can use MetaMask wallets. Clients of the platform will be able to transfer crypto assets to it from other platforms easily and seamlessly.
There is an aspect that needs further clarification as Sberbank is state-owned. How does it envision conducting a truly decentralized finance platform, or will it be a CeFi platform? Furthermore, it remains to be seen whether this platform will be regulated, and to what standards, as there is no fully developed cryptocurrency legislation in Russia as of this writing. Time will tell, but as of now, it is full speed ahead, with clear goals to achieve with a world-class enthusiastic development team already making it happen.
This Sberbank DeFi project, which began in November, will proceed in several stages. Back then Sberbank announced a list of features planned for its platforms such as issuing its tokens, creating smart contracts, and integrating with the banks’ existing and planned bank services systems, both retail and commercial.
The platform is currently beta testing, while open testing will begin March 1. Sberbank plans to be fully open to commercial business at the end of April. This should serve to effectively and practically open free access to crypto-finance worldwide, despite imposed geopolitical limitations.
Sberbank has long been a proponent of and supporter of blockchain technology. Its investment arm, Sber Asset Management, announced the launch of the country’s first blockchain-themed exchange traded fund in December of 2021. The development of their DeFi platform and services is a strong, confident statement by a major international bank in aggressively pioneering new directions for financial services.
Paul Goncharoff is a blockchain and fintech trade finance analyst with Dezan Shira & Associates.
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