Russia’s Sberbank Plans to Launch DeFi Platform by May 2023
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Russia’s Sberbank Plans to Launch DeFi Platform by May 2023

Russian bank Sberbank has announced its plans to launch a Ethereum-based DeFi platform by May this year.
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Russia state-owned bank Sberbank said it would roll out a DeFi platform in May 2023, according to a local report. The platform, currently in closed beta, will launch for open testing next month and is expected to become fully operational by the end of April.

DeFi Could Replace TradFi Banking in the Future, Says Sberbank Exec

Russia’s largest bank Sberbank has announced its plan to launch a decentralized finance (DeFi) platform by May 2023. According to a report by the Russian news agency Interfax, the platform will be launched for open testing as early as next month.

The platform will be based on the Ethereum blockchain and will be compatible with the Metamask wallet, the report adds. The bank’s blockchain laboratory’s product director Konstantin Klimenko said its DeFi platform is currently running in a closed beta, which is expected to allow open testing on March 1, 2023. During his speech at the Economic Congress on Friday, Klimenko said he sees DeFi as a potential replacement for traditional banking services in the future.

But this is not the first incursion into crypto for Sberbank, a majority state-owned bank headquartered in Moscow, Russia. Last year, the bank obtained a license from Russia’s central bank to launch and trade digital assets. A few months earlier, it rolled out the country’s first blockchain exchange-traded fund (ETF).

Klimenko said the goal of this initiative is to make the Russian DeFi ecosystem number one. He said he expects the platform to be fully open at the end of April this year, when users will be allowed to take part in commercial operations.

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Russia Bets on DeFi

The launch of the DeFi platform underscores Russia’s interest in blockchain technology and its potential use cases, despite its ban on crypto payments in the country. Earlier this year, reports revealed that Russia is in talks with Iran to launch a joint gold-pegged stablecoin that would be used as a payment method for settling foreign trade.

Nevertheless, it is interesting to see Russia foraying into DeFi, one of the most troubled sectors. Once the hottest crypto sector, DeFi has witnessed a significant slump in 2022 after sustaining a series of hacks and cyberattacks that exposed many of its weaknesses.

According to a recent research report by TRM Labs, a record $3.7 billion worth of crypto funds were stolen in 2022. 80% of that figure, or around $3 billion, was stolen in attacks on DeFi.

Editorial Update (3rd February 2023, 9:03 AM EST): The article has been updated to include more information and add context to the story.

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