It looks like Russia’s Sberbank CIB and the National Settlement Depository (NRD) will be using the regulatory sandbox that the Bank of Russia created to launch the county’s first official ICO. While there have been numerous ICOs that originated from Russia, this will mark the first time that a major bank has worked with a company to raise money via a token sale.
Sberbank CIB is the investment banking arm of Sberbank, the largest Russian bank. They will be working with the NRD to launch an ICO for Level One, who operates the largest lecture hall in Moscow.
Although the regulatory sandbox that the Bank of Russia designed to help local companies avoid any legal issues has been in operation since mid-April, this ICO from Sberbank CIB is the first to take advantage of the legal framework it offers.
Russia has been far more open to cryptos and ICOs than many other countries. Two pieces of legislation that would effectively legalize investment and trade in cryptocurrencies are making their way through the Durma, which is the Russian Parliament.
There is no word yet on when they may make it into law, but a recent compromise between the Bank of Russia and the Ministry of Finance sets the stage for the legislation to make it into law before the unofficial mid-summer deadline.
The senior vice president of Sberbank and head of Sberbank CIB, Igor Bulantsev, had this to say on the market for ICOs in Russia: “Sberbank CIB considers the Russian ICO market to be very promising. Many Sberbank clients are interested in this type of investment, and we plan to promote this service proactively once the appropriate legislative framework comes into effect.”
It is likely that once the legislative hurdles are cleared, Russian banks will be at the forefront of legally recognized ICOs in the Eurasian marketplace.
Russia’s banking sector is probably smart to tap into a market that has attracted billions of US dollars in fresh capital over the last year.
The additional regulations that work to protect investors will also help companies avoid the kind of issues that Telegram ran into earlier this year when the Russian government cut off service to the platform. This action ended up causing widespread communication problems, with some of the biggest companies on the internet losing contact with their Russian users.
Telegram has shown how popular token placements are at the moment, and in their two sales so far, have raised over USD 1.5 billion. While they never reached the stage of an ICO, their two token presales were hugely successful by any measure.
Nicholas Say was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He has traveled extensively, lived in Uruguay for many years, and currently resides in the Far East. His writing can be found all over the web, with special emphasis placed on realistic development, and the next generation of human technology.