Russian Gazprombank may offer crypto services in Switzerland

A Russian bank is entering the crypto market in Europe, while the domestic government remains critical of the industry.

The major Russian private bank Gazprombank has received the green light from the authorities to offer cryptosafety services through its Swiss subsidiary.

According to an official press release of 29 October, the bank has obtained a Swiss licence from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FinMA), which allows it to offer crypto-custody services to institutional and corporate clients in Switzerland.

The service will initially be available only to a limited number of customers, with Bitcoin (BTC) being the only supported crypto currency for the time being. Gazprombank will then progressively expand its offer, add other crypto-currencies and introduce new products and services.

Gazprombank CEO Roman Abdulin said: „We expect digital assets to become increasingly important for the global economy, especially for our existing and potential customers“.

Under the terms of the regulatory approval, Gazprombank must comply with the Swiss Money Laundering Act and the requirements for obtaining customer data, and the bank uses its own procedures to ensure security and compliance with the law.

Gazprombank Switzerland is a Swiss-registered bank that is 100% owned by Russia’s Gazprombank. The bank has been working towards being allowed to offer crypto-services in Switzerland since 2018.

While Russian banks are entering the crypto market via Europe, the Russian government remains sceptical about crypto currencies. Anatoly Aksakov, for example, a member of the Russian parliament and one of the driving politicians behind the country’s crypto regulation, is convinced that decentralised digital currencies like Bitcoin have no future.