Major Russian Financial Institutions Set to Test ICO Regulatory Platform for First Time


Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, and the National Settlement Directory (NSD) will partner to conduct the first ever Russian initial coin offering (ICO) via a new regulatory sandbox by the end of summer.

In a press release published by Interfax on May 24, Sberbank CIB, the bank's corporate and investment banking arm together with the NSD, which is part of the Moscow Stock Exchange Group, are jointly organizing an ICO for Moscow-based Level One, a company that manages Moscow’s largest commercial lecture hall.

Russia’s ICO regulatory sandbox, which was launched in April by the country’s central bank, the Bank of Russia, aims to make ICOs conducted in Russia more transparent and secure for traditional investors.

According to the press release, Sberbank will act as the "issuance coordinator and anchor investor" while the NSD will serve as the “custodian,” storing, recording, and settling the digital assets.

Igor Bulantsev, senior vice president of Sberbank and head of Sberbank CIB, consider the Russian ICO market to be “very promising,” and said that “many Sberbank clients are interested in this type of investment.”

The Duma, Russia’s parliament, approved a first reading of new laws regulating the crypto industry earlier this week. Under the new legal framework, both cryptocurrencies and tokens are considered property while new specifications for interacting with crypto and blockchain-related technologies such as smart contracts and mining are also laid out. A summer deadline has been let for the Duma to approve the final bill.

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