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Leading Russian Bank Explores Crypto Following High Demand

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Russia VKontakte
Russia VKontakte

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Financial institutions are being forced to evolve and start offering crypto-related products because of increased demand for the same. After Wall Street banks such as Goldman Sachs started offering crypto products to meet the demand, it now looks like Russian banks are following suit. Tinkoff Investments, an online brokerage arm of the Tinkoff private bank in Russia, is conducting research on cryptocurrency investments. However, the bank is taking these steps despite the Bank of Russia refraining from offering such products.

Exploring Crypto Investments

The head of Tinkoff Investments, Dmitry Panchenko, stated that its brokerage unit was looking into crypto investments, but it was yet to offer any final stand on the issue. Currently, the firm is in the research phase and is working on developing crypto-related services.

According to a local news publication, the brokerage firm was exploring the crypto offerings offered by major payment firms such as PayPal and looking into crypto-friendly applications such as Robinhood and Revolut.

Panchenko further stated that Russians were looking into foreign platforms to get access to cryptocurrency products. He stated that despite regulators failing to allow local financial institutions to offer crypto services, investors had over $15 billion worth of cryptocurrencies on exchanges.

“One or another, people get crypto exposure, and they do it outside of the country. It would be potentially correct to provide such services within the Russian legal system. This is not possible legally today, but the issue needs to be discussed and studied more deeply,” Panchenko stated.

Crypto Regulatory Framework in Russia

Cryptocurrencies in Russia have been in sort of a grey area. The financial regulators in the country permit the mining, trading and holding of cryptocurrencies. However, the country prohibits the use of cryptocurrencies to buy goods and services.

This week, the Bank of Russia issued an announcement stating that it would launch a probe into Bitcoin holdings as $32M left banks invested in crypto assets. The Bank of Russia has severally stated that cryptocurrencies were a risky investment that lacked transparency. The bank had initially urged legislators to bar non-accredited investors from accessing crypto investments.

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