Russia’s Largest Bank Plans ICO on Regulatory Platform

Russia’s biggest bank, Sberbank, is set to pilot an Initial Coin Offering (ICO)on its central bank’s regulatory platform, which was designed to test unregulated tech since its launch last month, NewsBTC reported.

The bank and the National Settlement Depository (NSD) will test the issuance of an ICO, while the issuer will be Moscow-based Level One, a popular commercial lecture website.

The coin offering will occur in late summer 2018 with tokens registered and settled on the NSD’s financial market infrastructure, used by traditional stock exchanges. Sberbank says it “will act as the organizer and chief investor in Level One’s ICO”. The NSD will serve as the custodian and, in addition to safeguarding the digital assets, will also maintain a record of transactions settled.

The two financial institutions claim the pilot will enable them to mitigate any associated risks and gain feedback from the central bank while assessing the performance of an ICO which provides transparency to reduce risks for investors.

“Our end goal is to create the fundamental basis for the development of the digital economy in our country, for the emergence of a new type of asset for investors, for ICO ecosystems, and for the circulation of digital assets on the secondary market,” NSD chairman Eddie Astanin stated. “In conjunction with market leaders, we are implementing a project to create infrastructure to record digital assets.”

Igor Bulantsev, senior vice president of Sberbank and Head of Sberbank CIB, said, “Sberbank CIB believes that the Russian ICO market is very promising. Many of our clients have shown an interest in this method of financing and we intend to actively promote this service by driving the institutionalisation and popularisation of ICOs after the corresponding legislation is passed.”

Blockchain is not a new concept to either NSD or Sberbank CIB. Sberbank CIB recently bought commercial bonds from telecom giant MTS over a blockchain. This transaction marked the first of its kind in Russia. NSD has got on the blockchain technology train very early when they implemented it in e-proxy voting in 2016.