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Russia’s Largest Bank to Launch Ethereum-Compatible DeFi Platform

Sberbank will have an Ethereum-compatible DeFi platform by the end of April.

Russia’s Largest Bank to Launch Ethereum-Compatible DeFi Platform
Shutterstock image by Evgeniy Vasilev

Key Takeaways

  • Sberbank is set to launch an Ethereum-compatible DeFi platform.
  • Launch will happen on multiple steps, with commercial transactions enabled by the end of April.
  • Sberbank is the largest bank in Russia and the third largest in Europe.

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Russia’s various financial institutions and banking entities don’t always see eye-to-eye on the subject of cryptocurrencies. Sberbank, the nation’s largest bank, is one of the biggest proponents of the technology, and is now aiming to launch its own “DeFi” platform by the end of April.

Make the Russian DeFi Ecosystem Number One

Russia is ready to dive into Ethereum’s permissionless ecosystem.

Sberbank blockchain product director Konstantin Klimenko announced today at the Perm Economic Congress in Moscow that the bank would be launching its own DeFi platform on Ethereum before May. “We have set ourselves a big goal—to make the Russian DeFi ecosystem number one,” he stated. 

According to Klimenko, the platform will be compatible with Ethereum; users will be able to log onto it by using MetaMask wallets. It’s unclear whether the platform will be hosted on the Ethereum network itself, or which services it will provide its users. It’s also worth wondering why Klimenko is calling the platform “decentralized,” since Sberbank itself is state-owned.

The project, which was started in November, will launch in multiple steps. Currently in beta testing, the platform will enter open testing on the first of March, then become fully open at the end of April. “It will be possible to carry out some commercial operations on it” by then, Klimenko assured. 

Sberbank is the largest bank in Russia and Eastern Europe, and the third largest in Europe as a whole. The bank had $559 billion in assets under management in 2021; last year, it accounted for about a third of all bank assets in Russia.

It’s not the first time Sberbank has taken an interest in blockchain technology. Its investment arm, Sber Asset Management, announced the launch of the first blockchain-themed exchange-traded fund in the country in December 2021. The fund provides Russian investors the opportunity to gain exposure to a diversified portfolio of major blockchain companies, including Coinbase, Galaxy Digital, and Digindex.

Disclaimer: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and several other crypto assets.

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