• January 03, 2022

The country's largest bank has launched the country's first blockchain exchange-traded fund (ETF).

Sberbank, Russia's largest bank, has launched the country's first exchange-traded fund (ETF) that allows investors to participate in the blockchain industry. The new instrument invests in companies that deal with cryptocurrencies and the technologies that  underpin them.

Sberbank, Russia's and the post-Soviet space's largest banking and financial services provider, has announced the introduction of a blockchain ETF. The new product, dubbed 'Sber - Blockchain Economy,' intends to give Russian investors a way to profit from the cryptocurrency market without having to get involved in the development, acquisition, storage, or selling of digital assets directly.

The ETF tracks the Sber Blockchain Economy Index, which comprises stocks of businesses that use cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. "Today, they are utilised in a range of industries and address a variety of challenges," according to the bank, "from protecting personal data and confirming copyright to developing platforms for the internet of things and online voting."

Producers of crypto mining hardware and software, firms issuing crypto assets, and enterprises providing blockchain consulting services are among those covered by the index, according to the state-owned bank. Crypto exchange Coinbase, blockchain software company Digindex, and crypto financial services provider Galaxy Digital are among the companies on the list.

Sberbank emphasised that its blockchain economy ETF (ticker: SBBE) as the first of its kind on the Russian stock exchange. The fund's currency is US dollars, but investors can purchase shares in Russian rubles using the Sberinvestor app or through any Russian broker, according to the bank. The cost of a share begins at 10 rubles.

After the president of the Central Bank of Russia, Elvira Nabiullina, indicated in October that the monetary authority is not prepared to authorise the trading of a bitcoin ETF in the Russian Federation, the crypto-related instrument is being developed. The governor restated the CBR's tough position on cryptocurrency investments in December, and a report claimed that the CBR plans to prohibit card payments to cryptocurrency exchanges.

Russian media quoted Nabiullina's deputy, Vladimir Chistyukhin, as stating, "We don't see a place for cryptocurrency in the Russian financial market." The Bank of Russia recommended stock exchanges earlier this year to avoid listing and trading instruments connected to crypto assets, as well as changes in crypto indices, the value of crypto derivatives, and securities of cryptocurrency funds.