Sberbank and National Settlement Depository sum up results of ICO technology using the Bank of Russia’s sandbox

Oct 19, 2018
  • As a result of a deal, a roadmap on creating the legal conditions to organise an ICO under the regulatory environment of the Central Bank was formed.
  • After the expected regulatory changes are introduced, Sberbank will be able to make decisions on developing such a service for its clients.


19 October 2018, Moscow – Sberbank and the National Settlement Depository (NSD) have summed up the results of a test deal to attract financing through an initial coin offering (ICO) using the Bank of Russia’s sandbox. The deal issuer was Level One, a company that provides commercial lecture centre services in Moscow. The project was developed on the Masterchain platform.

During the deal, 285,800 coins were placed in the test environment, which were transferred from the digital asset account of the issuer to Sberbank’s account. Next, some coins were used to pay for a block of online tasks, which were offered by the issuer and was technically implemented by transferring coins from Sberbank’s account to the issuer’s digital asset account.

In the last stage of piloting, the issuer used coins it received from Sberbank by sending them to a nonreturnable blockchain address, as the coins could not be used again under the offer’s conditions.

All actions were implemented using the Masterchain platform and a node installed in the NSD.

As a result of the test, the following advantages of the ICO for its participants were proved:

  • Wide as possible access of investment projects to an audience of institutional investors and their clients.
  • Institutional investors receive access to investment in coins with minimum expenses of funds and resources.
  • Individuals receive convenient access to investment in coins through the financial institutions where they are served.

The launch of the test ICO deal in the Bank of Russia’s sandbox was held in May 2018. Sberbank acted as the coordinator and underwriter of the placement, the NSD was the custodian of the transaction and registered, stored and maintained a record of the digital assets.

Participation in the Bank of Russia’s sandbox provided the possibility to receive assessment from the bank and institutions’ experts, as well as form a working roadmap on creating the legal conditions to provide services, assess special characteristics of work with such transactions and minimise their risks.

The planned approval of the draft laws On Digital Financial Assets and On Attraction of Investments Through Investment Platforms will allow Sberbank and the NSD to broaden their experience and attract financing through issuing coins for a wide range of clients.

Vice President and Head of the Global Markets Department of Sberbank Andrey Shemetov:

“Sberbank’s clients are interested in this way of attracting financing and we are ready to provide such a service after the corresponding legislation is introduced, by acting as one of the drivers of institutionalisation and promotion of this type of transaction.”

Chairman of the Executive Board of the National Settlement Depository Eddie Astanin:

“According to our estimates, about 10% of the digital asset transactions (USD 200 bln) in the world are carried out by Russian retail investors. If there is a legal base, they could perform operations in Russia, using Russian infrastructure. Our goal is to facilitate the implementation of national policy on Russia’s digital economy, and bring about a new class of assets for investors, as well as ecosystems for ICOs and trading of digital assets on the secondary market.

Managing Director of FinTech Association Tatyana Zharkova:

“Tokenisation of assets in blockchain allows participants to safely and quickly carry out financial operations. The appearance of such projects on Masterchain shows the financial market’s demand and significant interest in the blockchain platform.”