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Russia Says Yes to its First Ever Official ICO

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Russia is set to experience the country’s first official ICO, courtesy of the country’s largest bank, Sberbank CIB, together with the National Settlement Depository (NRD). According to reports from Forklog on May 24th, these entities plan to use the regulatory sandbox from the bank of Russia.

Sberbank CIB is the investment banking branch of Sberbank, a state-owned bank, while NRD on the other hand, is part of the Moscow Stock Exchange Group. These two are now in the final stages of launching the project with the central before the summer of 2018 is out. According to reports from the head of Sberbank, Igor Bulantsev, the banks sees great potential in the ICO market of the country and focuses on the fact that clients are interested in such revolutionary ways of fundraising.

Signs of More to Come

Through this experimental ICO, more new tokenized online services are likely to be launched by Level One, a company known to run one of the largest commercial lecture halls in Moscow. According to a report from NRD’s Eddi Astanin to Vedemosti, a local media platform, the token from the project will only be sold for rubles and this will only be open to qualified investors.

It was only in April last year that the Russian government launched its regulatory sandbox. This offered Russian fintech companies the opportunity to get a taste of new technological innovation without necessarily violating domestic law. Alexei Prokofiev, the Add.Capital investment firm partner through Vedemosti, was quick to note that the new experimental ICO came with a load of promises that included real a “real experience of understanding the legal side of the future implementation of digital tokens and blockchain.”

Parliament Approval Says it All

The Russian government has been contemplating crytocurrency for a while, and it is only this week that the parliament approved the first reading of the new laws  that are set to regulate the industry. This law is expected to deal with all matters crypto, right from defining what it is all about and guidance on ICOs, to laying out specifications on how its citizens can best interact with cryptocurrency and other technologies related to blockchain; such as mining and smart contracts. However, the laws are clear that the Bank of Russia has the right to restrict the amount of transactions related to cryptocurrency for anyone who does not qualify as an investor.

How do you think these laws could affect the crypto community in Russia? Let us know of your views in the comments section below.

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