Russian banking giant Sberbank has unveiled the country’s first exchange-traded fund (ETF) that will give investors access to the blockchain space. The new instrument includes securities from companies dealing with cryptocurrencies and the technologies that underpin them.
Sberbank Introduces ETF Tracking Blockchain Economy Index
The largest banking and financial services company in Russia and the post-Soviet space, Sberbank, has announced the launch of a blockchain ETF. The new product, called “Sber – Blockchain Economy”, aims to provide Russian investors with the opportunity to take advantage of the crypto sector without being directly involved in the development, acquisition, storage and sale of digital assets.
The ETF tracks the Sber Blockchain Economy Index, which includes securities from companies working with cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies. “Today, they are used in a variety of industries and solve all kinds of problems – from protecting personal data and confirming copyrights, to creating platforms for the Internet of Things and online voting,” the bank explains.
Among those covered by the index are crypto mining hardware and software manufacturers, crypto-asset issuing entities and companies providing blockchain advisory services, the state bank added. Notable names in the space such as crypto exchange Coinbase, blockchain software developer Digindex and crypto-financial services provider Galaxy Digital are on the list.
Sberbank stressed that its blockchain economy ETF (ticker: SBBE) is the first of its kind in the Russian stock market. The fund’s currency is the US dollar, but investors can buy shares with Russian rubles through the Sberinvestor application or with the help of a Russian broker, the bank has indicated. The price of shares starts at 10 rubles.
The crypto-related instrument is being introduced after the head of the Central Bank of Russia, Elvira Nabiullina, stated in October that the monetary authority is unwilling to allow trading of a bitcoin ETF in the Russian Federation. In December, the governor reiterated the regulator’s tough stance on cryptocurrency investments, and a report revealed that the CBR wants to block card payments to crypto exchanges.
“We see no place for cryptocurrency in the Russian financial market,” Nabiullina’s deputy Vladimir Chistyukhin said by Russian media. Earlier this year, the Bank of Russia advised exchanges to avoid listing and trading instruments linked to crypto assets, changes in crypto indices, as well as the value of crypto derivatives and securities of cryptocurrency funds.
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