Gazprombank Swiss, a subsidiary of one of the largest banks in Russia, has tested the Bitcoin Transaction Service (BTC) after Swiss regulatory approval.
According to the November 19 announcement, Gazprombank will introduce its new cryptocurrency solution in cooperation with its old partners such as fintech Avaloq and cryptocurrency provider Metaco.
Roman Abdlin, CEO of Gazprombank Switzerland, said the new service aims to make cryptocurrencies “as simple as traditional asset transactions,” saying:
Digital assets will become increasingly important to our customers and the global economy. We are pleased to work with leading Swiss organizations to further develop Swiss and global cryptocurrency and blockchain systems. ”
Concurrent with the first BTC transactions, Gazprombank Switzerland also announced that the bank has joined OpenVASP, a large industry consortium focused on complying with the rules for virtual asset providers, or VASP.
OpenVASP was launched in late 2019 and aims to help VASP comply with the so-called anti-money laundering “travel rule” imposed by the FATF. According to the announcement, Gazprombank Swiss is the first banking institution to join OpenVASP along with major industrial companies such as Swiss crypto broker Bitcoin Suisse and local crypto bank Sygnum.
The latest news from Gazprombank in Switzerland came shortly after the bank obtained approval from the Swiss Financial Markets Authority to offer cryptocurrency custody and trading services to its institutional and corporate clients at the end of October 2020. It is owned by Russia-based Gazprombank, Gazprombank, Switzerland. At least since 2018, it has been preparing to launch crypto services in Switzerland.
Gazprombank is not the only Russian bank that operates crypto and blockchain services abroad. In September 2020, Sberbank – the largest state-owned bank – joined a blockchain-based platform for financing merchandise trade through its Swiss branch.
As Russian banks rush to roll out crypto services abroad, Russian lawmakers continue to impose additional restrictions on the crypto industry. In addition to the official ban on cryptocurrency payments in 2021, Russian authorities will also impose prison sentences for failing to report about $ 600,000 in annual cryptocurrency transactions.