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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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Russian State-Owned Bank To Trial Crypto Transactions

Prominent state-owned Russian bank Gazprombank has announced plans to facilitate cryptocurrency transactions in Switzerland.

Gazprombank, Russia

In an interview conducted by Russian local news outlet Vedomosti on 29 March, Sobol described the operations not as grand scale, but rather for the benefit of the bank itself. Sobal noted, ”this is a demand from the sides of our large private clients for such amenities”, acknowledging the significant call for traditional banks to streamline the banking services of clients holding cryptocurrency funds.

In the interview, Sobal said that the upcoming pilot operation from Gazprombank would seek to organize this service specifically for their clients, although currently the transactions are taking place for Gazprombank’s own investment profits. The report was unclear on whether the operation would be expanded to all of their banking customers. Sobol stated the bank was “trying to follow the situation actively.”.

The deputy chairman of the board at Gazprombank, Aleksandr Sobol, described the tolerant cryptocurrency legislation in Switzerland as the reason the country was chosen for the project. Cryptocurrency exchange is a legal activity in Switzerland.

Crypto law in Russia

Gazprombank’s project follows the news in January outlining the plans of the largest Russian bank Sberbank, to open a cryptocurrency exchange, also in Switzerland. Sberbank aims to provide cryptocurrency exchange to investors on an institutional level, rather than to retail investors.

Russian law currently bans any form of cryptocurrency operations, pushing those interested in the industry to do business in more crypto-friendly countries.

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 final version of the bill is set to be released on 1 July.

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