Sber, the state-owned bank, is attempting to launch digital asset tools, but regulators remain skeptical of the industry.
Sber, Russia’s largest bank, appears to be struggling to obtain regulatory approval for its digital asset issuance platform, as the company’s registration plans continue to be delayed.
According to local news agency Prime, Sber CEO Herman Gref announced Tuesday that the bank now expects its digital asset issuance platform to be registered with the Bank of Russia by the end of 2021.
“We are in constant communication with the central bank and are discussing a variety of issues.” “We really hope to have the platform registered by the end of the year,” Gref said.
The new comments come nearly a year after Sber first applied to the Bank of Russia to launch a blockchain platform for its Sbercoin stablecoin in January 2021. Sergey Popov, Sber’s director of transactions at the time, stated that the registration process usually takes no more than 45 days. As a result, the bank expected to launch its platform and stablecoin in spring 2021.
While it was unable to move forward with the plans by the fall, Sber later announced that it would register its digital asset issuance platform in September.
Sber’s postponed plans are not surprising given Russia’s central bank’s stance on cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and has even barred some major banks from offering crypto investment services. According to the bank, such services “do not meet the interests of investors and carry significant risks.”
Meanwhile, Bank of Russia Governor Elvira Nabiullina believes that tools like central bank digital currencies are a good option for governments to replace decentralized cryptocurrencies.