Cryptocurrency Portfolio Pilot Planned By Russia’s Largest Banks

Announcements, News | June 18, 2018 By:

Sberbank, the state-owned Russian banking and financial services company, and Alfa-Bank, the largest private bank in Russia, are planning to launch cryptocurrency portfolio pilots for their private clients.

The pilot will be carried out under the watch of the Bank of Russia, the country’s central bank. The two banks will offer their clients shares in a special fund that will be trading the six most popular cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, ethereum and Litecoin, on major exchanges, such as Kraken and Bitstamp. The banks said they are doing this because of interest from wealthy individual clients. The minimum threshold for entry will be $500,000.

AddCapital, an investment fund which is one the entities behind the project, will be in charge of the technical solution for the pilot, while the National Settlement Depository will act as a custodian. The two portfolios – called Perceptron R and Perceptron RQ – will be tested in the central bank’s regulatory sandbox. The banks said the pilot should take a maximum of 45 days, but the specific dates have not been disclosed.

“Trading will be carried out only on regulated cryptocurrency exchanges, and the portfolio will be reviewed once every quarter,” said Alexei Prokofiev, CEO of AddCapital. “The client actually receives a fund unit. The assets of the fund are stored using custody solutions and audited by the Group IB cyber security. The unit is liquid, it is possible to request a withdrawal to the currency of the client at any time.”

Ana Ivanchuk, deputy chair of Sberbank Private Banking, said that it is their desire to provide their clients with a completely transparent means to enter the crypto market and invest in the products that interest them.

“We want to offer our clients a completely transparent version of the entrance to digital assets that fully meets the regulatory requirements that will allow them to invest in an interesting product in Russia,” Ivanchuk said.

Anton Rakhmanov, managing director of Alfa-Bank’s private wealth management department, said that their goal is to speed-up the recognition of the digital assets as legitimate financial assets as soon as possible.