Moscow, 24 May 2018 — Sberbank CIB, Sberbank’s corporate and investment banking business, and National Settlement Depository (NSD), Russia’s central securities depository, announce the intention to test an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) technology at the Bank of Russia’s regulatory platform. Level One, a company that manages Moscow’s biggest commercial lecture hall, will be the issuer.
The regulatory platform of the Bank of Russia was launched in April 2018 to pilot and implement new financial services and technologies requiring legislative changes. The Bank of Russia and other governmental organizations, profile associations, and development institutions assess services and technologies implemented at the platform.
Participants plan to conduct the first transaction involving tokenized assets by the end of summer 2018. National Settlement Depository, Russia’s financial market infrastructure, will record tokens and carry out settlements related to their issue and circulation. Sberbank CIB will act as the issuance coordinator and anchor investor in tokens issued by Level One, and NSD will be the transaction’s custodian. NSD will keep and register digital assets.
Work on the pilot project at the regulatory platform will allow Sberbank CIB and NSD to assess the specifics of these transactions, mitigate associated risks, and get feedback from the Bank of Russia related to improving mechanisms to conduct transactions. In the future, the experience of Sberbank CIB as a leader in Russia’s investment business will make Russian ICOs more transparent for traditional investors, guaranteeing the high quality of the organization conducting these types of trades.
Sberbank CIB and NSD will be able to scale this experience to attract financing by issuing tokens to a wide circle of their clients once two bills (“On Digital Financial Assets” and “On Attracting Investments via Investment Platforms”) are adopted.
Igor Bulantsev, Senior Vice President of Sberbank, Head of Sberbank CIB, pointed out: “Sberbank CIB considers the Russian ICO market to be very promising. Many Sberbank clients are interested in this type of investment, and we plan to promote this service proactively once the appropriate legislative framework comes into effect; we will be one of the drivers to institutionalize and popularize this type of transaction.”
Eddie Astanin, Chairman of the Executive Board, NSD, said: “National Settlement Depository uses a pragmatic approach with regard to FinTech. Our end goal is to create the fundamental basis for the development of the digital economy in our country, for the emergence of a new type of asset for investors, for ICO ecosystems, and for the circulation of digital assets on the secondary market. In conjunction with market leaders, we are implementing a project to create infrastructure to record digital assets. The existence of this infrastructure is a crucial condition based on which institutional investors come to our market, the market develops rapidly, and its capitalization grows.”