Sberbank Launched The First-Ever Blockchain ETF In Russia, Despite Strong Opposition To Cryptocurrencies

Russia is entering the ETF game with Sberbank’s Blockchain Economy ETF (SBBE). The exchange-traded fund would track Sberbank’s Blockchain Economy Index and would be listed on Russia’s stock market.

The ETF gives Russian stock market traders and investors indirect exposure to blockchain-invested companies, such as crypto asset managers, mining firms, and blockchain advisory enterprises. For instance, the Sber Blockchain Economy Index tracks the performance of Coinbase, asset manager Galaxy Digital, and blockchain software company Digindex, among other blockchain-based entities.

The news was confirmed via a statement from Sberbank’s Asset Management, noting that the offering would grant investors exposure to the “blockchain economy without the difficulties associated with the direct development, purchase, storage, and sale of digital assets.”

“Direct investments in crypto assets involve high risks, it is difficult to assess them independently. Therefore, we offer to invest not in crypto assets, but in companies that ensure the development of blockchain technologies. The exchange fund is available to anyone thanks to its simplicity and low entry threshold.” General Director of Sberbank Asset Management, Evgeny Zaitsev, added.

With this move, Russia brings cryptos one step further towards crypto adoption. The United States also got several Bitcoin futures ETFs approved, despite the many delayed and rejected proposals.

The Sberbank announcement, however, is not to be considered as a meltdown in the unfriendly tone Russia has long held against cryptocurrencies. Russian authorities are still against digital assets, claiming they facilitate money laundering and terrorist financing.

Furthermore, Russia’s plans include prohibiting crypto investments in the country, as well as developing and releasing the digital Ruble CBDC. Also, Sberbank collaborated with several commercial banks to delay payments toward crypto exchanges. The delay, according to one of the bank’s officials, was due to preventing “emotional” purchases made by “unqualified” investors.

Despite its heavy stance on cryptos, Russia, like the US, does not plan to completely prohibit cryptocurrencies. Instead, the Bank of Russia noted that the legislative framework would focus on controlling and regulating crypto circulation rather than completely wiping off cryptos in Russia.

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