Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, has announced it is going ahead with its plan to launch its decentralized finance (DeFi) platform on Ethereum.
According to the bank, there are plans to launch open trials for the platform as early as March 2023.
A New DeFi Platform
Russia’s largest bank has announced that it is moving forward with the launch of its decentralized finance (DeFi) platform. According to officials at Sberbank, the bank plans to launch the open trials of the new platform by May 2023, according to Konstantin Klimenko, the product director of Sberbank’s blockchain lab, who believes that DeFi systems will displace the traditional banking services.
Sberbank’s upcoming DeFi platform is currently being tested in private beta and should be fully open by the end of April or the beginning of May, allowing users to conduct commercial transactions via the platform. Klimenko stated,
“We have set ourselves a big goal – to make the Russian DeFi ecosystem number one (decentralized finance system – IF). Our network is now operating in the format of closed beta testing. (…) From March 1, we will move to the next phase; it will no longer be beta testing, but open testing. t the end of April, the platform will be fully open, and then it will be possible to make some commercial operations on it.”
Compatibility With Ethereum And Metamask
Klimenko also stated that the platform would be compatible with the Ethereum blockchain, ensuring compatibility with major wallets such as MetaMask, and move their assets around seamlessly, and moving crypto from existing platforms to newer ones. According to executives, Sberbank is hoping to make its DeFi platform a prime DeFi ecosystem in Russian finance and also expressed confidence in disrupting the traditional financial and banking system in the country. Sberbank has been quite vocal about its plan to develop a link between its blockchain platform and its growing decentralized finance ecosystem on Ethereum.
However, it has faced roadblocks, with the shortcomings and dangers of decentralized finance catching the eye of Russia’s central bank and its Ministry of Finance.
In Line With Previous Announcements
The latest move by Sberbank is in line with its plan to enable DeFi and DeFi applications on its existing infrastructure. Back in November 2022, the Russian banking giant had announced a slew of new features for its proprietary blockchain platform. These included compatibility with smart contracts and applications based on the Ethereum blockchain.
Clarity Around Regulation Needed
However, despite the optimism around the announcement, it remains to be seen how Sberbank’s upcoming decentralized finance platform will be regulated by the authorities. This is because Russia has still not come up with regulations for digital assets and currencies. However, according to the head of the Duma’s Committee on Financial Markets, Russia is on track to adopt crypto regulations in 2023.
Sberbank had previously struggled to launch its DeFi ecosystem and blockchain tools over the past few years, primarily due to multiple delays when it came to registration by Russia’s central bank. Sberbank had originally expected to launch its digital asset issuance platform in 2021. However, it was able to receive the Bank of Russia’s approval only in 2022. It is also important to remember that the Russian government is a majority shareholder in Sberbank, holding a 51% stake.
Recently, the country’s fourth largest private bank, Alfa bank, became the fourth financial institution in the country to be granted permission to issue digital assets, joining Sberbank, state-backed tokenization platform Atomyze, and Lighthouse, a fintech company.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.