Sber, Russia's largest retail bank, has applied for a license with the nation's central bank to issue its own digital investment for corporate customers.
The digital asset will be available for the businesses banking with Sber, which have been expressing interest for blockchain-based prices for a while, a spokesperson in the bank told CoinDesk via email.
"This stablecoin will allow organizations to utilize smart contracts on Sber's platform based on the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain. Tokenizing both material goods and fiat money with this platform enables transactions to be fully automatic," that the Sber media office said.
The digital token will not be a cryptocurrency, but rather"a tokenized form of the rubles the businesses hold on their Sber accounts," they stated. "Just like cash on a bank account, but operating on another tech infrastructure"
Sber Deputy Chairman Anatoly Popov advised the Interfax news agency on Friday that bank implemented to register its blockchain platform together with the Bank of Russia in the start of the month. According to Russia's legislation on electronic assets, which came into force Jan. 1, 2021, all centralized Associates of electronic assets in Russia must register with the regulator.
According to Popov, the enrollment process takes around 45 days, and Sber hopes to receive either approval or remarks and requests in the central bank. If the jobs has got the green light, it's expected to launch some time this spring. One possible challenge might be the absence of clarity regarding taxation of electronic assets in Russia, he explained -- detailed regulation that is yet to be passed.
Sber launched its own Hyperledger Fabric-powered blockchain platform and aired plans to establish its own digital token in the moment. The lender has been consistently active in the blockchain area, engaging in many of pilots between securities onto a blockchain.
Russia passed its first law regulating digital tokens last fall, detailing the criteria and regulation process for companies which want to issue digital assets for the Russian market. It also mentions cryptocurrencies that have no entity controlling them, like bitcoin (BTC, +2.4%), which can be recognized as property, are subject to taxation and can not be used to pay for goods and services.
Non-qualified investors in Russia can't buy over 600,000 rubles (about $7,740) value of digital assets in 1 year, according to a Bank of Russia directive issued in December.
Sber, recently rebranded from Sberbank, is the primary Russian mainstream business that has publicly announced an application for a digital advantage registration with the central bank.