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Russia’s Sberbank executes first digital asset issue on its platform

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Russia’s dominant lender Sberbank (SBER.MM) on Saturday said it had carried out the first digital financial asset transaction on its own platform, with its subsidiary SberFactoring executing a 1-billion rouble ($16 million) issue with three-month maturity.

The Bank of Russia has long voiced scepticism over cryptocurrencies, but is more open to other digital assets and gave blockchain platform Atomyze Russia the first licence to exchange digital assets.

No.2 lender VTB (VTBR.MM) and fintech company Lighthouse carried out the country’s first cash-backed digital financial asset transaction in late June.

Sberbank, which received its licence in March, said in a statement that digital assets are issued on its platform using blockchain technology and smart contracts.

Sberbank’s platform will soon be available to all the bank’s corporate clients, it said.

Russia is working on improving its monitoring of cryptocurrency transactions and may begin introducing regulation of the industry later this year, officials said this week.

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