Russia’s Largest Banks Are Piloting Bitcoin and Crypto Portfolios


Two of Russia’s largest banks are piloting cryptocurrency portfolios for their private clients, the Kommersant newspaper reported Friday.

Under the watch of the Bank of Russia, Sberbank and Alfa Bank will offer their clients shares in a special fund that will be trading the six most popular cryptocurrencies on major exchanges, including Kraken and Bitstamp, according to the report.

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.

Sberbank Private Banking deputy chair Ana 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 speed-up the recognition of the digital assets as legitimate financial assets as soon as possible,” said Anton Rakhmanov, manager of Alfa Bank’s private banking branch.

AddCapital, the investment fund which participated in the recent pre-sale of Telegram tokens, is said to be in charge of the technical solution for the project. CEO Alexey Prokofyev said the investment process will see investors purchase a share of the fund.

The portfolio will include the six most popular cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum and litecoin. The combination of coins will be revised four times a year, and their proportions will be balanced by a trading algorithm.

“The shares are liquid and a client can send them for fiat currencies any time,” Prokofyev said.

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.

Sberbank declined to comment when reached.

Russian flag image via Shutterstock

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