Sberbank Stands Ready to Offer ICO Services to Clients

Russia’s Sberbank and the National Settlement Depository have reported the results of their joint ICO test within the regulatory sandbox and announced plans to supply services related to token sales.

Russia's largest lender, state-owned Sberbank, and the National Settlement Depository (NSD) have completed their first initial coin offering (ICO) trial within the regulatory sandbox launched by the Central Bank of Russia in April to create a safe environment for experimenting with blockchain-based products and services. Following the successful test, Sberbank and the NSD are ready to provide their clients with token sale-related services, according to an official press release by the lender.

As part of the trial, LevelOne, the largest commercial lecture center in Moscow, issued 285,800 tokens on the Masterchain platform and transferred them from a digital assets account to a settlement account with Sberbank. The bank then used several tokens to pay for a service package offered by LevelOne, transferring the units from the Sberbank account back to the issuer's. As the tokens cannot be reused, LevelOne moved them to an irrecoverable blockchain address, technically destroying them.

All operations were performed on a node provided by the NSD, which also served as a custodian for the deal and kept records of the digital assets.

Sberbank and NSD emphasized that raising funds via ICOs is beneficial both for issuers and investors as it allows both institutional and retail players access to digital assets with minimal costs and resources.

Meanwhile, Sberbank is waiting for the bill on digital financial assets to be approved by the Duma so the lender can initiate token sale campaigns for its clients.

Sberbank VP Andrey Shemetov commented:

"Sberbank clients express interest in this type of fundraising, and we are ready to start providing these services and drive mainstream adoption of this type of transactions as soon as the corresponding legislation comes into force."

Retail investors account for over 10% of all operations with digital assets, or $200 billion worth of transactions in total, NSD chairman Eddie Astanin estimates. Once the regulatory framework is in place, they will be able to use Russian infrastructure.

"We aim to foster the development of national policy on economy digitalization and to create a new asset class for investors and ecosystems for ICOs and digital assets circulation on secondary markets," he added.