Subsidiary of Russia-based ‘Gazprombank’ launches Bitcoin offering
A fully owned subsidiary of the private Russia-based Gazprombank (JSC) bank announced that it has received authorization from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) to provide cryptocurrency custody services as well as trading between crypto and fiat currencies to its corporate and institutional clients. Gazprombank said it would first provide these crypto-focused services to a select group of clients who hold bitcoin, but it planned to “gradually” include additional cryptocurrencies:
We expect digital assets to become increasingly important in the global economy and, in particular, for our current and potential clientele.
The bank’s CEO Roman Abdulin said that Gazprombank has employed blockchain technology to provide “security” and ease of use to clients. In addition to this, as a regulated bank, it will use due diligence procedures and ensure compliance with Swiss Anti-Money Laundering and Know-Your-Customer laws.
Gazprombank, which had collaborated with a crypto custody solution company Metaco, and Fintech firm Avaloq, had begun working on these crypto services back in late 2018. At that time, it said that users will be able to buy and sell crypto “without any need for a crypto-wallet or private key management.” It also added that Metaco’s Hardware Security Module (HSM), “ensures a military security solution for storing private keys and managing wallets and operations” with multisignature support.
The bank’s parent company is based in Russia, where the country’s new regulations on crypto-trading and mining state that it would not allow its citizens to use crypto as a payment medium for any goods or services, from 2021 onwards.