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Central Bank of Russia grants digital asset license to Sberbank in apparent policy reversal

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Less than two weeks after the Central Bank of Russia, aka CBR, reiterated its stance Prohibition proposal The issuance, mining and circulation of cryptocurrencies in Russia, seems to have re-evaluated its policy. In a press release published on Thursday, the CBR added the country’s largest lender, Sberbank, to its register of information system operators for digital financial assets. Equal report by local news agency Tass, CBR said:

“The inclusion of the registry allows companies to issue digital financial assets and exchange them between users in their platforms.”

Sberbank’s blockchain platform is based on distributed ledger technology that could theoretically protect against information tampering. Legal entities on Sberbank will soon be able to issue digital financial statements confirming monetary claims, purchase digital assets allocated in Sberbank’s system, and conduct cryptocurrency transactions . Sergey Popov, Sberbank’s head of transaction business, made the following comments about the development:

“While we are still starting to work with digital assets, we recognize that further development is needed to accommodate the existing regulatory framework. We stand ready to work closely with regulators and regulators on this direction.”

As a state-owned bank, Sberbank has been targeted by sanctions, such as those by the US Treasury Department, since the start of the Russo-Ukrainian War. Earlier this month, Sberbank pulled out of most European markets due to European Union sanctions. At the same time, its foreign depository shares have decline over 99% on the London Stock Exchange, with trading halted and its final list price of $0.05 each.

The devastating sanctions imposed against Sberbank coupled with the CBR’s apparent policy reversal on cryptocurrencies have led to speculation that digital currencies could represent a “salvation” “for banks in trouble. However, Experts do not believe that sanctioned financial institutions can use cryptocurrencies to evade sanctions.