Herman Gref, CEO of Russia’s state-owned top bank Sberbank, told reporters in a recent conference that cryptocurrencies are unlikely to replace fiat money. According to Russian newspaper TASS, Gref said:
Do I see a prospect of global use of cryptocurrencies as an alternative to fiat money? I don’t see it and I said it many times. I don’t think that the state is ready to yield its centralized role in emission of fiat currency to some other decentralized institutions.
However, Gref stated that he doesn’t believe in restricting technological innovation in the areas of blockchain and cryptocurrency. Last year in November, he called cryptocurrencies “a natural outcome of blockchain technology”. He added that they can’t be ignored because they are quickly becoming a part of people’s lives.
However, last month, Gref advised against buying cryptocurrencies, “I don’t buy cryptocurrency anymore, and I wouldn’t recommend doing so to anyone who does not like playing at a casino.”
At the same time, it was announced that Sberbank, along with Russia’s Alfa Bank, was planning to launch a crypto investment fund for retail investors. BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC and two other cryptocurrencies are expected to be used in the investment fund. Anna Ivanchuk, deputy head of private banking at Sberbank, said:
We want to offer our clients a completely transparent entry point for digital assets, fully in compliance with regulatory requirements and which allows investment within Russia in a product that interests them.
In January 2018, it was reported by news outlets that Sberbank was planning to create its own crypto exchange. However, the bank chose Switzerland instead of Russia due to cryptocurrency restrictions in the latter. “We wish to serve our customers’ interests, that’s why we think that we need to have strategic access to all kinds of products and services,” said Andrey Shemetov, head of global markets at Sberbank.
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