The Russian largest state bank, Sberbank, is going to launch a cryptocurrency exchange in Europe. The operation will be in charge of its Swiss branch Sberbank Switzerland AG, according to reports on Tuesday the 30th. Apparently, the exchange would not be available for individuals, but for institutions.
Switzerland has an open policy towards cryptocurrencies. Indeed, Sberbank has decided to open a cryptocurrency exchange in Switzerland and not in Russia because of the regulations and prohibitions.
The bank’s head of Global Markets Andrew Shemetov commented:
“We wish to serve our customers’ interests, that’s why we think that we need to have strategic access to all kinds of products and services.”
The report explains that Sberbank is not planning to offer its services to retail investors but it will be for institutional investors. That means that only legal entities will be able to use the cryptocurrency exchange. Besides that, Shemetov said that investing in cryptocurrencies is a big risk due to market volatility.
But this is not the first time that a high official of Sberbank comments about cryptocurrencies. The head of the bank, Herman Gref, defended cryptocurrencies saying that should not be banned ‘under any circumstances.’ In addition to it, he called blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies technologies ‘whose power cannot be realized at the moment.’
Even when Sberbank did not install its cryptocurrency exchange in Russia, the country is not thinking about banning cryptocurrencies.
Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has several times supported blockchain and cryptocurrencies. But a law has been presented to establish a regulatory framework to cryptocurrencies, Initial Coin Offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, miners and more.
For the government, the most important is to fight against tax avoidance, criminal activities and money laundering. Furthermore, Russia is working in its national cryptocurrency known as the CryptoRuble and is planning to legalize cryptocurrencies and mining activities.