Sberbank and Alfa-Bank, the two biggest banks in Russia, are testing cryptocurrency portfolios for private clients, local news media out Kommersant reported.
The two financial institutions will be offering its customers shares in a fund in which Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, and EOS will be traded on cryptocurrency trading platforms such as Kraken and BitStamp.
Sberbank, the main state-owned bank responsible for processing government employee paychecks, and Alfa Bank, the largest private bank in the nation, plan to enter crypto trading with the help of the AddCapital investment fund, the National Settlement Depository, and Group IB.
The deputy head of Sberbank Private Banking, Anna Ivanchuk said:
We’d like to offer our clients an absolutely transparent way to invest in digital assets with a full compliance with regulations that will let them invest in the product they are interested in Russia.
“Our goal is to accelerate the adoption of a decision on the recognition of the CFA investment assets and introduce them into the legal field as quickly as possible”, mentioned Anton Rakhmanov, the managing director for the development of the product offer of the Alfa-Bank’s “Private Wealth Management”.
Russia’s slow and at times unpredictable official stance on cryptocurrency has led banks to remain hawkish on integration of related technologies beyond blockchain experimentation until this year. In late January, Sberbank announced that it was opening a crypto exchange option for institutional investors via its Swiss branch.
Herman Gref, Sberbank’s outspoken, generally pro-crypto president, continued the tone on cryptocurrencies themselves this month, telling Kommersant June 8:
I don’t buy cryptocurrency anymore, and I wouldn’t recommend doing so to anyone who does not like playing at a casino.
The National Settlement Depository, which is a part of the Moscow Exchange Group, will act as the custodian. While testing the portfolio process will take roughly 45 days, the specific dates have not been disclosed.