Russia’s Central Bank Completes Test ICO

The Russian monetary authority has carried out a successful experimental initial coin offering (ICO) within the regulatory sandbox.

The Central Bank of Russia has successfully held experimental ICO within the framework of its testing platform also known as a sandbox, local news agency TASS reports citing Ivan Semagin, the deputy director of the Development Department for the Financial Markets.

Speaking at the Eastern Economic Forum, Semagin noted he was satisfied with the results of the experiment.

"The Central Bank of Russia launched a "sandbox" ICO based on the existing infrastructure; the experiment was a success from a technical point of view, though a lot of legal questions remained open," he explained.

The Russian central bank launched the regulatory sandbox in April 2018 to provide a safe and convenient platform for testing and launching products and services based on blockchain and other innovative financial technologies. It evaluates the projects deployed in the sandbox together with the relevant state authorities, field-specific associations, and research institutions.

Commercial banks are jumping the blockchain bandwagon

Later in May, the representatives of Sberbank CIB and National Settlement Depository (NSD) announced their joint plans to launch a test ICO within the regulatory sandbox for LevelOne, the company that runs the largest commercial lecture center in Moscow. The ICO is scheduled for August-September as an experiment of raising funds by issuing digital tokens on blockchain.

Alfa-Bank, the seventh largest commercial bank in Russia by volume of assets, disclosed the plans to test and implement new cryptocurrency solutions for VIP-clients within the regulatory platform provided by the central bank.

The Russian regulator supports blockchain technology

Russia’s central bank remains skeptical about cryptocurrencies as they are viewed as a favorite instrument of criminals, money-launderers, and tax evaders. However, the monetary authority is a big fan of blockchain technology. It is considering a blockchain solution for the Eurasian payment area that will allow to transmit messages and transfer money in a SWIFT-compatible format.