Russian banks step-by-step started to support cryptocurrencies. It is worth mentioning that Gazprombank Switzerland piloted its Bitcoin transaction service after receiving regulatory approval by Swiss regulators. As a reminder, Gazprombank Switzerland is a subsidiary of one of the largest banks in the Russian Federation.
Importantly, Gazprombank will provide its new cryptocurrency solution with its long-running partners. Fintech Avaloq as well as crypto custody provider Metaco. According to Roman Abdulin who serves as the CEO of Gazprombank Switzerland, the new service intends to make crypto transactions as easy as transactions with traditional assets.
People should keep in mind that digital assets will become increasingly important for clients of the bank as well as the global economy. Moreover, in conjunction with debuting its first BTC transactions, Gazprombank Switzerland also joined OpenVASP.
Bitcoin and Russian banks
As stated above, Gazprombank Switzerland joined OpenVASP. It is worth mentioning that OpenVASP is a major industry association. It is focused on regulatory compliance for virtual asset service providers or VASPs.
Importantly, OpenVASP intends to help VASPs in complying with the so-called “travel rule” Anti-Money Laundering regulation introduced by the FATF. The history of OpenVASP dates back to 2019. Interestingly, Gazprombank Switzerland is the first banking institution to join OpenVASP alongside major industry firms like Swiss crypto broker Bitcoin Suisse and local crypto bank Sygnum.
The latest news from the subsidiary of Gazprombank comes shortly after the bank received approval from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Board. The bank has the right to offer crypto custody as well as trading services to its institutional and corporate clients in late October 2020. As a reminder, Gazprombank Switzerland has been preparing to launch crypto services in Switzerland since at least 2018.
As mentioned above, Russian banks are willing to work on such projects. Importantly, Sberbank which is the country’s largest state-run bank joined a blockchain-based platform for commodity trade finance through its Swiss subsidiary.
Russian banks are rushing to debut crypto services abroad. However, the situation in Russia itself is more complicated than it might appear at the first glance. Importantly, Russian lawmakers keep introducing more limits to the crypto industry. Russia has huge potential when it comes to cryptocurrencies. Authorities should work with crypto-related companies as well as experts to come up with the best solution. There is no need to create additional problems for individuals and companies.