Gazprombank can now manage Bitcoin in its Swiss branch

Now the Swiss branch of the Russian bank Gazprombank has an authorization to guard and change Bitcoin, but with some conditions.

The world’s banks are slowly beginning to explore their options for entering the cryptcoin industry. This means they’re slowly beginning to recognize the potential of cryptomonies like Bitcoin, and that’s precisely what Gazprombank, Russia’s third largest bank, did. Specifically, they did it through their Swiss branch.

Gazprombank’s Swiss subsidiary received an authorization from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) to offer secure custody of cryptomonies. They also have the permission to handle the exchange between cryptomonies and fiduciary currencies for their corporate and institutional clients.

This is effective immediately, but only for „a limited number of selected clients“, chosen through „a rigorous evaluation process“. And only with Bitcoin for now.
Now Gazprombank’s Swiss branch has an authorization to hold and change Bitcoin, but with some conditions.

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What have the authorities of Gazprombank and its branch in Switzerland said about this?

Gazprombank reported that the advantage for the clients is the liquidity of the crypto-currencies, the reduction of the counterparty risk and the security. In that sense, the executive director Roman Abdulin said in a statement that they expect digital assets „to become increasingly important in the global economy. This includes particularly their current and potential clientele.

„As a FINMA-regulated financial institution, we are confident that we can add value by providing a higher level of confidence to users,“ he said. However, where they have the most advantages according to him is in terms of institutional grade custody.

The reason this has been approved for the Swiss branch has to do with the fact that regulation of cryptomonies is much stricter in Russia. There, crypto currencies are legal to possess, but illegal to use for payments.

However, Russia has not been left behind in exploring alternatives to crypto currencies either. It was recently announced that they are developing their next CBDC, or digital version of the ruble. This according to the country’s Central Bank director. The pilot could be expected by the end of 2021.