Sberbank and National Settlement Depository to test out ICO technology using Bank of Russia’s regulatory platform

May 24, 2018

24 May 2018, Moscow – Sberbank CIB, the corporate and investment banking business of Sberbank, and the National Settlement Depository (NSD) announce their intent to test out blockchain-based initial coin offering (ICO) technology using the Bank of Russia’s regulatory platform. Level One, a major Moscow-based organiser of commercial lectures, will be the issuer.

The Bank of Russia’s regulatory platform was launched in April this year to pilot and rapidly deploy new financial services and technology that require changes to be made to the law. The Bank of Russia and relevant government agencies, special associations and development institutions appraise the piloted services and technology.

The first coin-based transaction will take place by late summer 2018. Coins will be registered and settlements will be performed using the NSD’s financial market infrastructure. Sberbank CIB will act as the organiser and chief investor in Level One’s ICO. The NSD will act as the custodian of the transaction and will register, store and maintain a record of the digital assets.

The pilot project will allow Sberbank CIB and the NSD to assess the specific features of working on such transactions, minimise related risks, and get feedback from the Bank of Russia regarding improving the mechanism for carrying out ICOs. In the future, Sberbank CIB’s experience and expertise as a leader of Russia’s investment banking business will make Russian ICOs more transparent for traditional investors and ensure that these transactions are organised well.

The upcoming introduction of the laws ‘On Digital Financial Assets’ and ‘On Investment via Investment Platforms’ will allow Sberbank CIB and the NSD to offer their ICO experience to a broad range of clients.

Igor Bulantsev, Senior Vice President of Sberbank and Head of Sberbank CIB commented: “Sberbank CIB believes that the Russian ICO market is very promising. Many of our clients have shown an interest in this method of financing and we intend to actively promote this service by driving the institutionalisation and popularisation of ICOs after the corresponding legislation is passed.”

“The NSD takes a pragmatic approach to fintech. Our end goal is to create the foundations for developing Russia’s digital economy and bringing about a new class of assets for investors, as well as ecosystems for ICOs and trading of digital assets on the secondary market. Together with the market leaders we are carrying out a project to create infrastructure for recording digital assets. This is a vital step towards bringing institutional investors to the market and securing both dynamic growth and increased capitalisation,” said Eddie Astanin, Chairman of the Executive Board of the National Settlement Depository.