The largest bank in Russia, Sberbank, will launch its own platform within a few months, aimed at decentralized finance (DeFi) on the network of Ethereum (ETH). This was reported by the local Interfax news agency on February 3 known.
Launch DeFi platform in May
The director of Sber’s Blockchain Lab, Konstantin Klimenko, announced that the Russian bank expects to launch open trials of its DeFi platform in May 2023. The platform is currently still in private beta testing. From the month of April, the DeFi platform will have to be fully open, allowing users to conduct commercial transactions on it.
As mentioned earlier, the platform will initially be based on the Ethereum network. With this, users will therefore have the option to gain access through the MetaMask wallet extension. Klimenko also mentioned that users can transfer assets from other platforms.
DeFi is a form of borrowing and lending that uses smart contracts, eliminating the need for intermediaries. Smart contracts are digital, programmed contracts on the blockchain that are automatically executed when pre-agreed criteria are met.
Klimenko stated that Sberbank’s DeFi platform is aiming to become an important DeFi ecosystem in Russia. He also expressed confidence that DeFi systems can displace the traditional banking services market.
It still seems unclear how the new platform will be regulated, as Russia does not yet have any regulation regarding digital currencies. According to Anatoly Aksakov, the head of Duma’s Financial Markets Committee, the country will “definitely” adopt crypto regulations in the coming year.
Delay crypto platform
Sberbank has struggled to launch blockchain tools in recent years due to multiple delays in their registration with the Russian central bank. It originally expected to launch its platform in 2021, but it was only in March 2022 that it received the license from the central bank to use and spend digital assets.