Russian Institutions to Trial Central Bank ICO Platform

Two Russian financial institutions are set to test a regulatory platform that aims to make domestic initial coin offerings (ICOs) more transparent and secure for traditional investors.

Russia’s National Settlement Depository (NSD) announced on Thursday that it is working with Sberbank CIB, the bank’s corporate and investment banking arm, to test an ICO issuance platform launched by the Bank of Russia – the country’s central bank – in April.

According to an announcement, in the testing environment, a company named Level One will launch a token sale, for which Sberbank will act as the “issuance coordinator and anchor investor.” The NSD, on the other hand, will serve as the custodian, recording and settling transactions, as well as safeguarding the assets.

The firms say the platform will ultimately provide transparency that would reduce risks for traditional investors in the token issuance process. It’s hoped the test, along with feedback from the central bank, will help improve the platform before it can be scaled up for real-world use.

Igor Bulantsev, senior vice president of Sberbank and head of Sberbank CIB, said:

“Sberbank CIB considers the Russian ICO market to be very promising. Many Sberbank clients are interested in this type of investment, and we plan to promote this service proactively once the appropriate legislative framework comes into effect; we will be one of the drivers to institutionalize and popularize this type of transaction.”

As previously reported by CoinDesk, the Bank of Russia and the Ministry of Finance have already resolved a disagreement over one draft bill covering ICOs, and the country has now slated in a summer deadline for introducing two relevant pieces of legislation.

Eddie Astanin, chairman of the executive board at the NSD, said the end goal of the project is to allow “the emergence of a new type of asset for investors” and the circulation of digital assets on the secondary market.

Central Bank of Russia image via Shutterstock

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