Top Russian banks announced their readiness to work with cryptocurrencies

September 26, 2018

Financial companies are interested in blockchain, but they can’t start providing services related to digital money due to a lack of regulation in the country.


On Thursday, September 20, RBC-Crypto’s correspondent attended a round table discussion about the future of financial markets and state regulation of cryptocurrencies held at the Moscow Stock Exchange. At the round table, the Russian investment fund ADDCAPITAL announced that they had concluded an agreement with the Luxembourgish trading platform VNX Exchange on listing venture capital assets worth $20 million on secondary-market.


The round table was held as part of a series of events organised by the ARC (Anticipatory Regulation Compliance) working group. The working group includes representatives of Russia’s largest banks, such as Sberbank and Alfa-Bank, and representatives of the Moscow Stock Exchange, the National Settlement Depository, ADDCAPITAL, ALTHAUS Group, Group IB, and other companies. Guest participants of the ARC working group included representatives of Russian banks, such as VTB, VEB, Gazprombank, and others.


The round table was also attended by representatives of top international financial platforms, including Japan’s largest exchange bitFlyer, the blockchain platform NEM, and the cryptocurrency Litecoin. With VNX Exchange, they discussed state regulation of the crypto market worldwide.


One of the speakers at the event was Luc Frieden, Luxembourg’s former Minister of Justice and Minister of Finance, Member of the Board of Directors of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, and Chairman of the Executive Board of BIL (Banque Internationale á Luxembourg), Luxembourg’s largest bank. He told the audience about Luxembourg’s advanced legal framework for digital money.


“Today, Luxembourg is one of the most developed European financial centres due to its stable political background and well-organised legal support for the financial sector. An advanced ecosystem enables the government to support innovations in the financial sector. To strengthen the leading position of Luxembourg as a financial hub, we intend to continue developing our regulatory system and the infrastructure for fintech businesses,” – Frieden said.


He pointed out that the industry didn’t need separate regulation because it wasn’t developed well enough yet. The industry should be controlled at an international rather than national level.


At a closed-door meeting held on September 19, representatives of Russian banks demonstrated an interest in the ways the crypto industry was regulated in Luxembourg, Singapore, and Japan, so an unnamed source with first-hand knowledge told the correspondent of RBC-Crypto. He stressed the fact that representatives of top financial companies spoke about a high demand for digital money but said they couldn’t provide such services due to a lack of legal framework in the country.


Russian banks can neither sell their own products nor offer third-party products, but they are very much interested in blockchain technologies. According to RBC-Crypto’s source, the meeting was placed on record, and the banks are going to take the protocol, together with a proposal for state regulation of the industry, to the government.


According to our source, financial companies now have several possible courses of action: they can reach legislators either directly through Anatoly Aksakov, or through the economic bloc of the government, i.e. the Ministry of Finance and the Tax Service, or through the Central Bank. However, despite the lack of regulatory framework, banks can reach the crypto market via their separately registered VC companies, the expert added.


“These were the topics discussed at the meeting of the group in order to work out an approach to changing the legislative agenda,” – the source said.


He pointed out that the agreement between VNX and ADDCAPITAL was a new solution: they take pipelines of VC funds and tokenize these assets listing them for trading separately. The crypto industry should have its own ecosystem, with banks, VC funds, the Big Four companies, and lawyers. Such ecosystems are to be created in a couple of years.


At the event today, a representative of a major Russian bank said that Russia didn’t have any other form for attracting capital, such as venture capital companies of B or C level. There’s no such money in Russia. The bank is currently working on a solution for this problem in collaboration with the State Duma. It’s about a new variant of the law on digital assets that, according to RBC-Crypto’s source, will be very different from the first one. The document is expected to come into force before the end of 2018.


Read the original article at RBC.