Russia’s Largest Bank, Sberbank, to Offer DeFi Lending and Borrowing
According to recent reports, Sberbank is set to launch its decentralized finance platform by May.
The platform will be built on the Ethereum blockchain, and users can access it if they have a MetaMask wallet extension. The platform will fuel seamless borrowing and lending using smart contracts without the need for intermediaries. Since the platform uses the Ethereum architecture, it will be compatible with the Ethereum blockchain. That means that users can use their wallets. The platform will give users the freedom to transfer assets from other platforms.
The product director, Konstantin Klimenko, revealed that the bank is currently running a DeFi network on the closed beta, which will be officially open by the end of April. Users will have the chance to do commercial transactions once it is open. Klimenko believes that DeFi will soon replace traditional banking services.
Sberbank is at the forefront of adopting crypto technology. Back in March 2022, it was licensed by Russia’s central bank to issue and exchange crypto assets. It also runs a blockchain-related exchange-related fund(ETF). The bank revealed its plans to allow DeFi applications on its infrastructure. In the last quarter of 2022, Sberbank released new features for the blockchain platform, such as smart contracts compatibility and applications on the Ethereum network.
There is still uncertainty on the regulation of the upcoming platform as Russia still needs digital assets regulation.
Sberbank would have already launched its blockchain tools in the past but has faced delays due to registration delays by the Russian Central Bank. For instance, it was to launch its digital asset issuance platform back in 2021 but instead did it in 2022.
Sberbank is the largest bank in Russia, with over one million corporate clients and over 110 million customers. The government is the biggest shareholder with over 50% share.
Apart from Sberbank, Alfa Bank, the largest private bank in Russia, was allowed to issue digital assets on Feb 2. This makes it the fourth financial institution licensed to carry crypto operations in the country.