February 26, 2024

Sberbank Launches Digital Financial Asset and NFT Trading Platform

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Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, has unveiled its digital financial asset (DFA) and NFT trading platform, marking a significant move into the digital asset space. The platform, open to all individuals, allows qualified investors to invest in a blockchain-powered asset tied to the average cost of residential real estate in Moscow.

The bank introduces a token tracking the value of the Sberbank Digital Square Meter Index (SBERDSMI), hosted on the Sberbank CIB Index portal. Investors have the opportunity to access this coin until February 15, with maturity scheduled between December 11 and December 16, 2026. While not explicitly labeled as a cryptocurrency, this digital asset shares characteristics with blockchain-powered digital bonds or securities.

Sberbank holds a Central Bank permit for the issuance, accounting, and circulation of digital financial assets, emphasizing compliance with regulatory standards. The DFA platform’s landing page hints at the future launch of NFT trading offerings. However, the bank’s press release primarily focuses on the real estate-pegged coin, leaving the specifics of its NFT operations undisclosed.

The term “DFAs” in the Russian context typically refers to a variety of blockchain-powered coins, excluding decentralized protocols like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Sberbank’s foray into DFAs aligns with its bullish stance on blockchain-related matters. The bank plans to introduce “Hybrid DFAs” that combine conventional monetary aspects with digital property, with this service expected to launch soon.

Anatoly Popov, Deputy Chairman of the Board at Sberbank, mentioned that the bank had conducted a pilot of its coin with a limited number of investors the previous month. As a majority state-owned entity and a significant tech player, Sberbank continues to drive innovation in Russia’s financial sector. The bank’s participation in the second phase of the Russian digital ruble pilot, along with other major banking groups and IT firms, hints at significant developments in the country’s digital finance landscape.

In recent weeks, Sberbank announced the establishment of a “digital assets” council, emphasizing its commitment to advancing digital initiatives. Meanwhile, Nornikel, a prominent Russian metal miner, revealed plans to become the first Russian firm to pay dividends to its employees using digital tokens. The broader financial and technological landscape in Russia is witnessing transformative changes, with Sberbank at the forefront of these developments.

Financial Desk

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