Russia is a very peculiar country when it comes to cryptocurrency. While various state officials are pro-Bitcoin, there are others who choose to completely oppose the digital powerhouse. Two of the country’s largest banks are now experimenting with virtual currencies and as can be expected, the situation has created a fair amount of speculation within the crypto community.
Russian Banks Embrace Cryptocurrencies
Anyone who has any knowledge of the Russian financial system will know that there are a few private banks active in the country. In the case of Sberbank and Alfa-Bank, conducting experiments with cryptocurrencies is part of their innovation strategy moving forward.
Considering how both banks are quite big in Russia, their cryptocurrency actions are all the more important. The Bank of Russia had set up a regulatory sandbox environment for financial innovation some time ago and both banks are looking to conduct several trials and proofs of concept over the next six to seven weeks.
Whether or not this means any of these cryptocurrencies will be supported remains to be seen but the banks are presently experimenting with Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin. Two other “top cryptocurrencies” are also on the list but their names have not been unveiled at this stage.
It seems evident both Sberbank and Alfa-bank may expose their clients to these cryptocurrencies moving forward. However, if it is regular consumers or corporate entities that benefit from this new scheme is still up in the air at this time.
One thing to keep in mind is how both banks are privately owned in Russia and can offer products other state-owned institutions may not be able to offer right now or even in the near future. However, this is not an indication that Russia will effectively legalize cryptocurrencies anytime soon, even though this is a pretty interesting development which further confirms the widespread reach of cryptocurrencies.
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