Russia: buying BTC is entering a minefield. Sberbank launches ETF focused on blockchain

Russia: buying BTC is entering a minefield. Sberbank launches ETF focused on blockchain
Russia’s leading bank, Sberbank, has created a blockchain Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) tracking leading cryptocurrency companies such as Coinbase and Galaxy Digital. It is the first such product in Russia that allows local investors to delve into the digital asset market without having to buy, hold or sell tokens.

Russia has an ETF blockchain

Sberbank has revealed that the exchange-traded fund is called “Sber – Blockchain Economy” and operates under the ticker SBBE. The ETF follows the eponymous index developed by the bank’s investment subsidiary SberCIB. The latter includes securities of companies whose main activity is related to blockchain technology.

The index also includes companies that produce hardware and software for digging cryptocurrencies, and even entities that provide consulting services in this sector.

Some of the bigger names in the SBBE portfolio are US exchange Coinbase, blockchain software provider Digindex and Mike Novogratz’s investment firm Galaxy Digital.

Commenting on the initiative, Yevgeny Zaitsev – CEO of Sberbank – said that “there are hardly any people who have never heard of blockchain”. According to him, the technology is developing rapidly and keeping track of it is simply beyond the reach of an ordinary investor.

He added that direct investment in Bitcoin or alternative coins involves high risk. As such, the new product would allow people to invest not in digital assets but in companies that “ensure the development of blockchain technology”, the director argued.

Russia wants to ban crypto investments

The ETF that Sbierbank has launched could be a good opportunity for locals to jump on the cryptocurrency bandwagon, as Russia’s central bank recently announced that it is ready to ban direct investment in digital assets.

The financial institution claimed that Bitcoin and altcoins are used for malicious activities and therefore allocating funds to them should be banned.

Earlier this year, Elvira Nabiullina – head of the Russian Central Bank – warned investors to be wary of risks in the cryptocurrency market, citing increased volatility in asset prices. She went further, describing investments in cryptocurrencies as the most dangerous monetary strategy.

A few months later, Sergey Shvetsov – a member of the Board of Directors of the Bank of Russia – dropped a similar warning. He claimed that buying Bitcoin is tantamount to “entering a minefield”.

04/01/2022 – Mr.Advice NEWS

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