Category Archives: Digital Assets Regulation Bill

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Russian Gazprombank to Launch Crypto Trading Service

Russian Gazprombank to Launch Crypto Trading Service

State-owned Russian bank Gazprombank is making good on suggestions it made earlier in the year that it was hoping to provide cryptocurrency assets to its clients in the future.

Back in March, Gazprombank’s Swiss division declared that demand from clients asking for facilitation and management of cryptocurrency funds meant that this next move was definitely on its radar and consequently a July pilot was put in motion.

The Russian government is still reviewing cryptocurrency regulation under the Digital Assets Regulation Bill, filed 25 January. The bill defines cryptocurrencies and tokens as digital financial assets. If the bill passes in its current form, it would allow trading on cryptocurrency exchange operators with authorized Know-Your-Customer (KYC) standards. This would also apply to initial coin offerings (ICOs) established in Russia. The Russian Duma will also lay out specifications for interacting with crypto and blockchain-related technologies.

The bank has decided to forge ahead with 2019 as its latest target, snapping up partners Avaloq and Metaco on the way, using SILO, a product developed by blockchain technology company Metaco. Metaco has integrated SILO into one of Avaloq’s Banking Suite product. An older, more established company, Avaloq supplies “core banking” products to some major financial institutions, including HSBC, Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Avaloq’s Group Chief Technology Officer Thomas Beck claims that Metco’s integration of DLT will give crypto traders an extra layer of security:

“Thanks to the close integration of the Metaco storage solution, banking and wealth management customers won’t have to trust additional third parties when trading with cryptocurrencies. By bringing together all asset classes in one portfolio view, the solution will also ensure the highest levels of convenience and usability.”

In a joint statement released by the companies involved, they’ve stated that the bank will be able to “buy, sell and transfer crypto assets and currencies on behalf of clients and provide a consolidated portfolio view, without any need for a crypto-wallet or private key management”.

In other breaking crypto news from the region, the Russian Intellectual Property (IP) court has successfully used a blockchain-based solution for storing copyright data, with the court using blockchain solution provider IPChain‘s system to record a change in rights holder data of an IP, thus saving the data on the decentralized ledger permanently.

The IP recording platform is already working for the government of Uzbekistan, helping it record copyright data, especially in science and innovative sectors. Uzbekistan has also penned a deal with Kyrgyzstan’s State Patent Office, helping them digitize and store records in a decentralized environment.

 

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Moscow’s Largest Exchange to Develop Platform for Companies to Conduct ICOs

Moscow’s largest exchange, MOEX is planning on allowing companies to initiate initial coin offerings (ICO’s) sometime during this year, reports Reuters.

The Moscow Exchange is the main liquidity and price discovery center for Russian financial instruments. It trades in equities, bonds, derivatives, currencies, money market instruments, and commodities, with a total trading volume of around $1.1 trillion, as of May 2018, according to Cointelegraph

The exchange is reportedly developing the infrastructure which will not list tokens, but primarily offer information about the responsibilities of token issuers. MOEX CEO Alexander Afanasiev explained:

“Right now we’re looking at this from the point of view of fiat currencies because cryptocurrencies don’t have the status of a legally protected asset. If they obtain that status, we will place them in our system as well.”

Provided there is significant investor interest, the exchange is also planning to issue futures contracts for ICOs, once that research on products and future types investors might require is completed.

The Russian government is reviewing cryptocurrency regulation under the Digital Assets Regulation Bill, filed 25 January. The bill defines cryptocurrencies and tokens as digital financial assets. If the bill passes in its current form, it would allow trading on cryptocurrency exchange operators with authorized Know-Your-Customer (KYC) standards. This would also apply to initial coin offerings (ICOs) established in Russia. The Russian Duma will also lay out specifications for interacting with crypto and blockchain-related technologies.

Last month Sberbank CIB, the investment banking arm of major Russian bank Sberbank, and the National Settlement Depository, which is part of the Moscow Stock Exchange Group, has announced that it plans to pilot the country’s first official ICO planned for a launch later this year

Russia’s crypto space is beginning to get some traction during 2018 despite, President Putin’s past very vocal reticence and condemnation of privately owned digital currency, albeit it state-focussed. Just last month a prominent state-owned Russian bank Gazprombank announced plans to facilitate cryptocurrency transactions in Switzerland.

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Another Russian Court Favors Crypto as Website Block Lifted

The St Petersburg City Court in Russia has lifted the block on crypto media website Bitcoininfo.ru, after the District Court shut down its site in July 2016, according to local news outlet TASS.

In 2016, digital currencies hadn’t reached global acceptance, as governments viewed money laundering as a major barrier to any kind of more liberal regulation. The 16 July ruling banning crypto-related information sources was very much reflecting state government thinking at the time.

According to TASS, the new decision was the result of a recent referral by Russia’s Supreme Court following a complaint from Bitcoininfo. The company claimed that the process to appeal the ban was initiated by prosecutors without involving the website’s owners, nor was the site asked to remove any content, previously considered as prohibited for viewing.

The original ban was served on the owners as prosecutors claimed it contained information about cryptocurrencies which were deemed as being “outside of government control”, and according to the District Court at the time, the site didn’t have “specific consumer properties”. The ban was also served as it was claimed that Bitcoininfo was facilitating “growth of the shadow economy”.

This is the second success for crypto-related websites this year after the same St Petersburg court annulled a trial court decision to ban 40 other Bitcoin-related websites, previously accused of spreading information about digital currency that “is not backed by any real asset and does not provide information about its owners”.

The Russian government is reviewing cryptocurrency regulation under the Digital Assets Regulation Bill filed 25 January. The bill defines cryptocurrencies and tokens as digital financial assets. If the bill passes in its current form, it would allow trading on cryptocurrency exchange operators with authorized Know-Your-Customer (KYC) standards. This would also apply to initial coin offerings (ICOs) established in Russia.

 

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