Sberbank Purchases 5,000 Blockchain ATMs Amid Russia Legislation Issues Author: Ali Raza Last Updated: 26 May 2020 Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, has recently purchased more contactless ATMs leveraging blockchain technology. This comes by way of the local Russian news agency, Izvestia. What’s interesting about this move, however, is it comes within a time where a proposed bill seeks to penalize companies and individuals should they use crypto to do financial transactions. Blockchain, But Not Crypto In order to allay confusion, it should be noted that the ATMs Sberbank uses has nothing to do with crypto, since they don’t behave as BTMs. As it stands now, the banking giant is aiming to cut down the need for clients to have physical contact with their bank cards, citing the COVID-19 pandemic as reasoning enough. These devices, powered by blockchain technology, will be capable of supporting a wide range of payment systems. This includes Apple Pay, Google Pay, Mir Pay, Samsung Pay, and Huawei Pay. Furthermore, the ATMs are protected through anti-vandal systems, and are equipped with functionality for pattern recognition, Purchasing 5,000 ATMs, $22,000 A Piece When you crunch the numbers, Sberbank is making plans of buying a whopping 5,000 ATMs within a framework of a tender. This tender stands worth $108 million, which will make each machine worth approximately $22,000. Sberbank has made it no secret that the firm is very much a fan of blockchain-related innovations. However, things remain unclear as to how these new ATMs will leverage technology as a whole. It’s been roughly two years since Sberbank had launched a blockchain lab, aimed at trialing and creating technologies for various goals. A prime example of this would be how Sberbank became the first bank in Russia to patent a system that allows for the conversion of repo into smart contracts within a blockchain network. In total, Sberbank owns approximately 75,000 ATMs, stretched all across the country of Russia. Of that 75,00, approximately 55,000 are completely functional. Russia’s Anti-Crypto Blockchain Adoption The plot thickens, however, when one considers how the Russian government owns Sberbank. What this means, is that the Russian state stands keen for the adoption of blockchain technology. However, as would be the case, the country is wholeheartedly against the free use of cryptocurrencies within its borders, Bitcoin being the prime example. RBK, a Russian news agency, stated at the end of last week that a crypto bill, which has stagnated for the past two years, might see some amendments. These amendments will seek the prohibition of issuing cryptocurrencies, as well as their operators, within the borders of Russia. Furthermore, the distribution of information in regards to these activities will be interdicted, as well.