Russian banking giant Sberbank has presented the country’s first exchange-traded fund (ETF) giving investors access to the blockchain space. The new instrument holds securities of companies dealing with cryptocurrencies and the technologies that underpin them.
Sberbank Introduces ETF Tracking Blockchain Economy Index
The largest banking and financial services provider in Russia and the post-Soviet space, Sberbank, has announced the launch of a blockchain ETF. The new product, called ‘Sber – Blockchain Economy,’ aims to provide Russian investors with an opportunity to profit from the crypto sector without the need to get involved directly in the development, acquisition, storage, and sale of digital assets.
The ETF tracks the Sber Blockchain Economy Index which includes securities of companies operating with cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies. “Today, they are used in a variety of industries and solve a variety of problems — from protecting personal data and confirming copyright to creating platforms for the internet of things and online voting,” the bank explained.
Among those covered by the index are producers of crypto mining hardware and software, entities issuing crypto assets, and businesses providing consulting services in the field of blockchain, the state-owned bank added. Well-known names in the space, like crypto exchange Coinbase, blockchain software developer Digindex, and crypto financial services provider Galaxy Digital, are on the list.
Sberbank emphasized that its blockchain economy ETF (ticker: SBBE) is the first of this kind on the Russian stock market. The fund’s currency is U.S. dollars but investors can buy shares with Russian rubles through the Sberinvestor application or with the help of any Russian broker, the bank detailed. The price of shares starts at 10 rubles.
The crypto-related instrument is being introduced after the head of the Central Bank of Russia, Elvira Nabiullina, stated in October that the monetary authority is not prepared to allow the trading of a bitcoin ETF in the Russian Federation. In December, the governor reiterated the regulator’s hardline stance on cryptocurrency investments and a report revealed that the CBR wants to block card payments to crypto exchanges.
“We don’t see a place for cryptocurrency in the Russian financial market,” Nabiullina’s deputy, Vladimir Chistyukhin, was quoted as saying by Russian media. Earlier this year Bank of Russia advised stock exchanges to avoid the listing and trading of instruments tied to crypto assets, changes in crypto indices, as well as the value of crypto derivatives and securities of cryptocurrency funds.
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Do you expect to see other offerings such as Sberbank’s blockchain ETF in Russia? Tell us in the comments section below.
Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.
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