On its in-house digital assets platform, Sber—formerly Sberbank—will begin issuing and trading digital financial assets (DFAs). In mid-July, the first transaction with digital financial assets will take place within a month.

During a speech at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Anatoly Popov, vice head of the state-owned bank, revealed the information (SPIEF). The platform has already passed the Central Bank of Russia’s (CBR) approval test, and he told Russian news source TASS.

According to Reuters, in March, Sber gained authorization from the CBR to establish the blockchain platform. The bank asked to be included in the central bank’s roster of information systems operators for the first time last year.

Since announcing the move in 2020, the state-owned institution has not abandoned plans to create Russia’s first acknowledged stablecoin, known as Sbercoin. The stablecoin issue was supposed to be done in collaboration with JP Morgan, but the outbreak of hostilities between Russia and Ukraine may have thrown the deal off.

Russia is increasing its support for digital asset companies

Despite international sanctions aimed at the Russian financial system’s core, the government has welcomed more digital currency ideas. Atomyze Russia, Lighthouse, Sber, VTB Bank (VTB), and Promsvyazbank are among the five companies the CBR has permitted to employ blockchain technology since February (PSB).

VTB also stated that in September, it would launch a test for DFA purchases with Russia’s CBDC, the digital ruble, at the same SPIEF event. In February, VTB and PSB completed the first successful test of digital ruble transactions.

Russia has also been steadily developing laws for the industry. Bills to control digital currency transactions and block reward mining are making their way through the legislature. A measure has also been tabled to establish that digital assets are not alternatives for the ruble.

Other financial innovations that Russia is considering using blockchain technology to power include a replacement for the international financial messaging platform SWIFT and a replacement for bank payments and settlement vendors such as VISA and MasterCard, which have left the Russian market.

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