One of Russia’s largest banks – known as Sberbank – says that it’s potentially looking to issue its own cryptocurrency sometime next year.
Sberbank Is Joining the Crypto Bandwagon
The coin – which would be known as Sbercoin – will be issued directly by the financial institution as part an experiment through its recent partnership with JPMorgan, which in the past, has also taken the liberty of issuing a cryptocurrency all its own known as JPM Coin. Many banks and financial enterprises throughout the world have sought to release their own cryptocurrencies in recent months following news that China is issuing digital versions of the yuan, its native currency.
Herman Gref – CEO of the Russian banking group presiding over Sberbank – says that the cryptocurrency will likely be issued after January 1. He says that on this day, Russia is set to integrate a new digital currency law that will permit regulators to oversee crypto activity. This is positive in that it will prevent the government from outlawing them completely, which is a path Russia has sought in prior months.
In a recent interview, Gref comments:
From January 1st, the law comes into force. We want to bring to the market our new blockchain platform, which will provide services for the purchase of digital financial assets.
The situation is something of a two-sided coin (pardon the pun). On the one hand, it suggests that many banks are reaching the conclusion that cryptocurrency is likely here to stay, and they had best jump on the digital asset bandwagon before they fall behind. However, there is also a major problem in that initially, cryptocurrencies were designed to be decentralized, and this goes against such a notion.
For a cryptocurrency to be issued by a bank or financial institution, it would have to be a centralized asset. This is something of a problem in that digital currencies were initially built to give users their financial independence back. They would not have to rely on banks to garner access to specific financial tools, services and products to survive. The fact that they would have to wait for a bank issuance of the currency in question creates a dent in this narrative.
A Digital Age Grows
Aside from its digital currency, Sberbank has recently issued a new cloud service that would allow users to sign important documents through non-certified digital signatures, or NDSs. In a statement, the company describes the program as follows:
Once you join the service, digital signature keys will be generated and uploaded to the bank’s clouds, and the bank’s certifying center will issue an NDS certificate. When signing a document, you need to confirm your access to the authentication key via biometrics or a PIN code. After that, the app will send a confirmation to the cloud to create an e-signature.