Russia's Largest Bank Announces Ethereum Compatibility for Its Blockchain

Russia’s largest bank Sber, formerly known as Sberbank, has announced that its proprietary blockchain platform will become compatible with the Ethereum ($ETH) network, meaning it will “ allow developers to freely transfer smart contracts and entire projects between the bank’s blockchain network and open blockchain networks.”

According to a press release the bank published, its blockchain platform will receive “technological compatibility with the world’s largest ecosystem of decentralized finance Ethereum,” while also providing integration with the MetaMask wallet.

Per the announcement, these integrations will allow users to “make transactions with tokens and smart contracts hosted on the Sber platform.” The bank’s blockchain allows “ participants to issue their own tokens and create smart contracts,” with the bank’s information systems making it possible for settlements to be made in rubles.

Alexander Nam, Director of the Blockchain Laboratory of Sberbank, was quoted saying that the company’s blockchain lab works “closely with external developers and partner companies” and that he is glad decentralized finance (DeFi) applications are coming to Sber’s infrastructure.  Nam added:

I am sure that taking into account the rapid development of Web3, platforms that support different blockchain protocols will be increasingly popular. And Sber will be able to unite developers, corporations and financial institutions both in the framework of joint market research and in the development of practical business applications.

Sber has notably been developing its blockchain over the last few years, and filed an application with the country’s central bank, the Bank of Russia, to launch a blockchain platform for its “Sbercoin” stablecoin last year. The bank received the central bank’s approval earlier this year.

Sber is notably majority owned by the Russian government, which holds 50% + 1 share. While the bank develops its blockchain, Russians aren’t allowed to use cryptocurrencies as a payment method, with these payments having been banned in early 2020.

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