A Russian bank is entering the crypto market in Europe, while the domestic government continues to be critical of the industry.
The large Russian private bank Gazprombank has received the green light from the authorities to offer crypto custody services through its Swiss subsidiary
According to an official press release dated October 29, the bank was able to secure the relevant approval for Switzerland from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FinMA), which enables institutional and corporate customers to custody and trade cryptocurrencies.
The range of services will initially only be available to a limited group of customers, with Bitcoin (BTC) being the only supported cryptocurrency for the time being. Gazprombank will then increasingly expand its offering, add other crypto currencies and integrate new products and services.
Gazprombank CEO Roman Abdulin explains: „We expect that digital assets will become increasingly important for the global economy, especially for our existing and potential customers.“
As part of the official approval, Gazprombank must comply with the Swiss Money Laundering Act and the requirements for obtaining customer data, and the bank also uses its own procedures to ensure security and compliance with the law.
Gazprombank Switzerland is a bank registered in Switzerland that is 100% owned by Russian Gazprombank. The bank has been working towards being able to offer crypto services in Switzerland since 2018.
While Russian banks are entering the crypto market via Europe, Russia’s government remains skeptical of cryptocurrencies. For example, Anatoly Aksakov, a member of the Russian parliament and one of the driving forces behind the country’s crypto regulation, believes that decentralized digital currencies like Bitcoin have no future .