Russia’s Sberbank has decided to suspend its plans for doing business with cryptocurrencies. Andrey Shemetov, a vice president of the bank, explained, “We were waiting for legislative action that would allow us to deal in cryptocurrencies. Because, at the moment, regulators have a negative view, we decided to suspend this plan.”
Sberbank head Herman Gref had previously been an active supporter of blockchain technology and invested in Bitcoin himself: in 2017, Sberbank even announced that its daughter company in Switzerland was working to develop cryptocurrency-based accounts. However, after Russia’s Finance Ministry introduced a cryptocurrency regulation bill into the State Duma, the country’s Central Bank and President Vladimir Putin spoke out against the risk of carrying out cryptocurrency-based operations in Russia. In October 2018, Gref himself said he did not see a promising future in cryptocurrencies and had come to consider them a “primitive” byproduct of blockchain technology.