Sberbank Plans To Trade Cryptocurrencies Overseas To Avoid Russian Regulations

Announcements, News | January 31, 2018 By:

Sberbank, the state-owned Russian banking and financial services company, is reportedly planning to bypass the Russian cryptocurrency regulations and offer crypto trading to customers outside Russia.

Sberbank’s head of global markets Andrey Shemetov said that the bank plans to start trading cryptocurrencies overseas in order to avoid violating domestic rules. According to Shemetov, Russian laws bar Sberbank from trading cryptocurrencies. However, the bank wants to be able to serve clients in what is a popular market for some investors.

“That’s why we think that we need to have a strategic access to these products,” Shemetov said. “Swiss laws allow cryptocurrency trading, and we are working on infrastructure to start offering these services through our Swiss subsidiary.”

The bank’s Swiss subsidiary is creating an infrastructure for trading in cryptocurrencies. Shemetov said they completely build the trading infrastructure so that they can open its own positions and give customers service, that is, buy and sell for clients. Shemetov added that initially, the product will be available only to legal entities.

“The product is very risky, the volatility is very high, so we will not provide these services to a large number of customers,” said Shemetov. “We are looking at all of the cryptocurrency pairs that are the most liquid, [and] their names are known. We will see what’s interesting to the clients, where is some liquidity…Obviously, we will not go into a low-liquidity crypto.”

Last week, the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation (Minfin) introduced a draft federal law on the regulation of digital assets and initial coin offerings (ICO). According to the bill, individual traders will be able to buy and sell cryptocurrencies through licensed cryptocurrency exchanges registered in Russia. Traders will be able to exchange their crypto assets for other assets using special accounts run by an entity, which will be established by the central bank. The bill is expected to enter into force in September.